‘Don’t Ask’ Repeal Won’t Stop Veto of Unwanted Funding, Gates Says

Posted June 20, 2010 at 11:16am

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said Sunday that he was confident President Barack Obama would veto a fiscal 2011 defense authorization bill that included funding for C-17 cargo planes or an alternative engine for the Joint Strike Fighter, even if the bill included an administration-backed provision repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

“It would be a very serious mistake to believe that the president would not veto a bill that has the C-17 or the alternative engine in it just because it has other provisions that the president and the administration want,” he said on “Fox News Sunday.”

Asked whether he knew that definitively, Gates said, “I don’t go way out on a limb without looking back to make sure nobody’s back there with a saw.”

Both the House and Senate versions of the defense authorization bill include a provision to repeal the federal law that bans openly gay men and women from serving in the military.