U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, took to the Senate floor this morning to plead with Democratic leaders to allow full debate on the defense authorization annual spending bill, which includes provisions she supports, such as repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

Collins was the only Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee to vote for the measure as it passed through committee.

“My view is that our armed forces should welcome the service of any qualified individual who is willing and capable of serving our country,” she said. “But let me say that I respect the views of those who disagree with me on this issue, such as the ranking member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Sen. McCain. And I will defend the right of my colleagues to offer amendments on this issue and other issues that are being brought up in connection with the defense authorization bill — and there are many controversial issues in this bill.”

McCain, a Republican from Arizona, is filibustering a vote on the legislation, requiring 60 votes to cut off debate.

But Republicans such as Collins and her colleague from Maine, U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, are frustrated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s unwillingness to allow them to offer any amendments or fully debate the measure.

“I find myself on the horns of a dilemma. I support the provisions in this bill – I debated for them; I was the sole Republican on the committee that voted for the Lieberman-Levin language on ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ I think it’s the right thing to do, I think it’s only fair,” Collins said. “But I cannot vote to proceed to this bill under a situation that is going to shut down debate and preclude Republican amendments. That too is not fair.”

Collins said her speech was “one final plea” to Democrats to make a procedural compromise.

There are currently 41 Senate Republicans, enough to block a vote to end debate if they all are united.