Where Does the New Army Secretary Stand on Don't Ask, Don't Tell?
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Today, President Obama named Rep. John McHugh (R-NY) his Secretary of the Army. McHugh is the ranking member on the House Armed Services Committee, and represents a district that includes the Ft. Drum Army Base. He “brings patriotism and a pragmatism that has won him respect on both sides of the aisle,” Obama said of McHugh.
Notably, neither Obama nor McHugh mentioned the military’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy, an issue McHugh will surely have to address. His congressional record provides few clues as to his position. McHugh has not signed on to co-sponsor to a House bill that would repeal the ban on gays serving in the military, and last year earned only a 15 percent rating from the Human Rights Campaign.
However, in opening and closing remarks during a hearing last year on the DADT, McHugh seemed open to changing the ban on gay servicemembers, asking for further hearings on the issue and chastising the military for having “refused to step forward” and testify on the matter:
Ali Frick is a Research Associate for The Progress Report and ThinkProgress.org at the Center for American Progress Action Fund.