May 16, 2007

Senate Tubes Withdrawal Timeline

The Senate blocked a bill from coming to the floor that would have imposed a fixed withdrawal date for American troops in Iraq. Proponents could only muster 29 votes, but as Allahpundit writes, those votes came from an interesting subset of the Democratic caucus:

The Senate on Wednesday rejected legislation that would cut off money for combat operations in Iraq after March 31, 2008.

The vote was a loss for Sen. Russell Feingold, D-Wis., and other Democrats who want to end the war. But the effort picked up support from members, including presidential hopefuls previously reluctant to limit war funding — an indication of the conflict's unpopularity among voters.

The proposal lost 29-67 on a procedural vote, falling 41 votes short of the necessary votes to advance.

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, a Democratic presidential front-runner, previously opposed setting a deadline on the war. But she said she agreed to back the measure "because we, as a united party, must work together with clarity of purpose and mission to begin bringing our troops home and end this war."

Sen. Barack Obama, another leading 2008 prospect, said he would prefer a plan that offers more flexibility but wanted "to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the president and my Republican colleagues that it's long past time to change course."

This bill never had a chance of reaching the floor. Reid only offered it to allow the anti-war crowd to make its statement and to exhaust itself ahead of the upcoming compromise. It also allows Reid to use the vote as leverage in the negotiations with the White House.

The proponents of the bill include every member of the Senate Democratic caucus running for president. Besides Hillary and Obama, Chris Dodd and Joe Biden voted to set the fixed deadline. Biden insisted that he didn't like the Feingold bill, but nonetheless felt compelled to "pressure" the White House by voting for a measure that had no chance of passage. It speaks much more to the pressure the netroots have put on the Democratic contenders to outdo each other in demanding a retreat from Iraq regardless of the extant conditions now or at the future date of their choosing.

The Senate also defeated a compromise bill by John Warner that included benchmarks affecting foreign non-military aid to Iraq. It foundered on an executive waiver Warner included, which would have allowed the Bush administration to bypass the requirement to cut funds if reform benchmarks are not met. Carl Levin withdrew a supplemental which allowed the same waiver on the terms of the last supplemental (bypassing troop withdrawal requirements) when he heard that the White House would not support that approach.

We will be left, shortly, with firm benchmarks on non-military aid to Iraq for political reform. That will be the basis of the funding through September, and the sooner the Senate acts on what has become the obvious compromise, the sooner we can get the bill to conference and then to the White House -- and the sooner we can fund the troops properly.


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Comments (10)

Posted by docjim505 | May 16, 2007 12:20 PM

The Senate on Wednesday rejected legislation that would cut off money for combat operations in Iraq after March 31, 2008.

The vote was a loss for Muqtada al-Sadr and other insurgent leaders in Iraq who want to end the American presence so that they can take over the country and set about slaughtering their rivals.

"I'm very disappointed that our allies in the infidel American Senate were not able to muster the votes to support our righteous effort to cleanse Iraq of the Sunni dogs," the religious leader said, speaking from an undisclosed location in Tehran. "But we have not given up. We will continue to murder American soldiers who are the lackeys of Halliburton until, Allah willing, al-Reid and al-Pelosi will prevail over the crusaders."

The cleric refused to indicate which of the democrat nominees for president has his support. "But be assured that, no matter who the nominee is, we will do everything in our power to help them to victory over the hated crusader Chimply al-Bushitler."

Posted by DaleinAtlanta | May 16, 2007 12:52 PM

Capt: of course all the Democrats voted for the Resolution!

They KNEW it wouldn't pass; but by voting for it, they could look their Nutbag supporters in the eye, and say "I voted to cut off funding..."; while at the same time, continue lying to the American people by saying "I support the troops, I didn't cut off funding, because I knew it wouldn't pass, I just voted for it, to "speak truth to power" to the corrupt and incompetent Bush"!

What a bunch of spineless, traitorous scum!

Posted by Joselito | May 16, 2007 1:10 PM

I will have nothing to do with any of these congress people. They are posturing gas bags and people who believe that they are in congress for the good of the country, I have some beach front property in the Everglades in which you might be interested.

Posted by Chris | May 16, 2007 3:07 PM

Why did the Democrats vote overwhelmingly in favor of giving President Bush the authority to invade Iraq in the first place? Was it simply a political calculation, even then? Did leading Democrats in Congress figure that the average American is so stupid and so self-involved that he/she would not remember or even care how they originally voted? You'd think that every single Democrat was anti-war from the start. Are we really that stupid? Are we going to let the radical Left get away with this?

Posted by Ron | May 16, 2007 6:02 PM

29-67 and fell short by 41 votes? What procedure calls for 70 votes to win? Or did yahoo news just screw up and it should have read 31 votes short?

Posted by docjim505 | May 16, 2007 6:02 PM


In answer to your questions:

Mid-term elections.



Unfortunately, most of us are.

I don't know that there are enough of us to stop them.

Sorry to be so glum...

Posted by Ron | May 16, 2007 6:07 PM

29-67 and fell short by 41 votes? What procedure calls for 70 votes to win? Or did yahoo news just screw up and it should have read 31 votes short?

Posted by Ron | May 16, 2007 6:12 PM

Sorry for the duplicate post - I was getting an error message that said the comment wasn't accepted.

Posted by Mark1971 | May 16, 2007 7:28 PM

When I saw the words "Senate" and "tubes" I thought this was going to be a story about Ted Stevens.

Posted by Fight4TheRight | May 16, 2007 9:46 PM

Prediction: By July 1, polls will reflect a 23% favorable rating for Congress by the American people.

p.s. docjim, LOVED the first posting!