U.S. Senator George V. Voinovich (R-Ohio), today released the following statement regarding his vote against the motion to proceed to the Defense authorization bill:
"I'm disappointed that Majority Leader Reid and Senate Democrats have chosen to turn the Defense authorization bill -- crucial legislation for our troops in a time of war -- into a messaging bill. Just as I said with my decision to support the small business bill, this is not a time for messaging from either side of the aisle. This is a time for action. If the Democrats are serious about passing this bill in a timely fashion, they wouldn't be attaching amendments that are not relevant to the common defense, in addition to making it impossible for Republicans to offer their own amendments to address concerns they have with the bill as voted out of the Armed Services Committee.
"The DREAM Act deals with immigration and shouldn't be on this bill. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell' is a controversial issue that needs to be debated on the Senate floor but I believe it would be logical to wait for the Department of Defense to issue its report on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell.' At this point there is no reason to rush to judgment for political expediency until we hear from our military leaders as to whether they think it is a good idea to change this policy. I will carefully study this determination when it is completed.
"If you look at history, we usually debate the Defense authorization bill for two weeks. If the Democrats are serious about getting this bill passed, Leader Reid should sit down with Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and work out the amendment process. Unless that is done, I will not support cloture on the motion to proceed to this bill."