Democrats Split On Iraq Funding

As I noted yesterday, the Democratic leadership in Congress finally acknowledged the reality of their position yesterday and agreed to send a supplemental funding bill for the Iraq war without timelines for withdrawal. In doing so, they’re claiming victory from a clause that they earlier derided as worthless, and their anti-war wing now threatens to part company with the present leadership:

Congressional Democratic leaders Tuesday dropped their insistence that the Iraq war-spending bill include a timeline for U.S. troop withdrawal, clearing the way to end a lengthy standoff with President Bush.
The measure will include benchmarks that the Baghdad government must meet to continue to receive U.S. reconstruction aid, although the president will be allowed to waive those requirements. …
The plan to link reconstruction aid to benchmarks, which was proposed by Sen. John W. Warner (R-Va.), the former chairman of the Armed Services Committee, was initially derided by Democrats, who said it was too weak to have any effect on the war.
But Tuesday, Democratic leaders sought to portray it as progress in their efforts to challenge Bush on the war. And they vowed to continue their efforts to try to get U.S. troops out of Iraq. This bill would fund the war through Sept. 30.

Democrats have included funding for Iraq war operations in the regular FY 2008 budget, however. That makes the issue less crisis-prone, and it also deflects some of the political backlash the Democrats have received from all sides on this question. It took more than 100 days for the Democratic-led Congress to finally produce a funding bill, a delay which held up the highly-touted AMRAP program that could have already saved some lives from IED attacks.
That loss of leverage has not gone unnoticed by the anti-war caucus, and neither has the Democratic surrender to George Bush on the funding bill. Those Senators and Representatives insist that the bill will require Republican votes for passage as they plan to oppose the supplemental:

Liberal Democrats who reluctantly have backed House leaders on the Iraq spending bill may defect due to the leadership’s decision to eliminate any timeline for withdrawal from the legislation. …
“The anti-war Democrats have reached their tipping point,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), a leader of the Out of Iraq caucus. “It’s going to take Republican votes to pass it.” …
Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.) said he expects enough Democrats to switch that leadership vote-counters will lose the margin of victory they have enjoyed so far.
“I’m on the edge,” he said. “I’m not liking this. A lot of people have bought into the notion that you have to fund the troops. Funding the troops means more troops are going to die.”

I’m not sure where this threat is intended to go. Funding for the war always relied on Republican votes. As long as enforced withdrawal dates do not get included, Republicans will vote for the result, unless pork and amendments make it impossible to do so. That’s as true as whether Bush would sign a bill. There will be enough Democrats to cross the aisle to assure passage.
In fact, the Democrats already recognize this rather empty threat, and they plan to attach the pork in a rather sneaky manner that avoids a floor vote. They will propose a clean supplemental without any extraneous spending or amendments, and expect to get all of the Republicans and a good chunk of Democrats to approve it. Afterwards, the Democrats will use procedural machinations to attach the minimum wage increase, hurricane relief, and agricultural pork. The need for the latter seems diminished, considering that it won’t pay for the votes it originally intended, but apparently survived the negotiations.
That will pass the Senate tomorrow, and the House will probably address it later that evening or early on Friday. We can finally expect that Congress did something significant this session by Memorial Day, a shameful start to the new era of Democratic leadership.

11 thoughts on “Democrats Split On Iraq Funding”

  1. Its not an empty threat … the dems have taken on the role as the only party in the government who CAN and IS trying to end this crapfest in Iraq. The GOP will come around and is coming to that conclusion but it will be too late to save their hides come November 2008. The legacy of GWB is and will be the destruction of the GOP majority and the GOP party. He is what Jimmy Carter was to the democratic party.
    The dems have continued to put forth the stance that they want to stop the war but don’t have the votes to do so. Regardless of the what the GOP blow-hards here believe, this is a pro-dem issue. Is the Dem base upset with the stance the dems have taken, you bet, but even the base realizes there is not really that much they can do. Every month this war continues and the splurge fails to accomplish virtually nothing is yet another month closer to the elections. The Dem base on the war can be compared to the GOP base on immigration. Most “sane” GOP voters know there is no way to send 12 million illegals back across the border and that some sort of compromise has to be met. The Dem base realizes there is no way to just “end” the war and pull out tomorrow.
    GWB continues to be the best democrat I have ever known.

  2. Exactly right, Ed, this is political cover.
    One side of higher power covering the otherside of high power in order to ignore the overwhelming will of the American People.

  3. Ed, I’m not sure where you got the idea that the AMRAP program has been delayed due to lack of funding.
    But that doesn’t appear to be correct.

  4. –The dems have continued to put forth the stance that they want to stop the war but don’t have the votes to do so. —
    Sure they do, they just don’t want to go on record.
    They want veto-proof.

  5. from previous posts:
    this bill is a canard. never take your eye off the pork.
    the dems are catering to their base knowing full well that they won’t have any success. they score bonus points for trying. what they are very serious about is the pork in the first bill. this ‘dance of the cranes’ is strictly aimed at extorting the pork from bush. give us the pork and we’ll leave you alone. bush’s record to date suggests he’ll be only to happy to oblige…………Posted by patrick neid at May 4, 2007 3:57 PM
    despite my support for bush’s war effort, i would support anyone who wants to wage war on terrorists and the STATES THAT SPONSOR IT, but he loses me when it comes to spending. was this his first veto? the reason he did not mention any of the pork is because he will sign all that pork when it’s connected to a compromise or other bills. bush and his fellow repubs have been seriously negligent these last six years. painfully so. basically authors of the “bridge to nowhere” that moniker–no pun intended–will forever be hanging from their necks……….Posted by patrick neid at May 2, 2007 7:07 AM
    i said all along that bush will sign this pork barrelling piece of sh*t legislation once the date was changed or removed. if bush isn’t the apparatchik i think he is, he will still veto the bill and demand that it be stripped of all attachments.
    the repubs lost the house and probably the next presidential election because they violated their number one reason for existence—-small government and fiscal responsibility. bush and the repubs were an embarrassment. i don’t care about the increase in tax receipts etc–they spent like drunken sailors. they lost the election and they deserved to. they built the bridge to nowhere………..Posted by patrick neid at April 2, 2007 8:52 AM
    here’s the final compromise that george “i don’t know what a veto pen looks like” bush will ultimately sign.
    two bills in one
    1 congress gets all the pork
    2 congress changes the date to december 31st 2008 and the next president will terminate the war.
    i respect bush for his doggedness in the war but on fiscal matters he’s pathetic–in fact he’s an apparatchik, no different from ted kennedy etc. the difference is he deludes himself into thinking there is a difference. along with fellow repub politicians it’s this reason alone that they lost congress. folks would rather have “honest crooks” than phonies pretending to protect the purse…..Posted by patrick neid at March 24, 2007 7:21 AM
    which brings us to last night may 22nd.
    lost in all the hoopla, as i predicted when this bill started out, was the fact that the dems had no real intention of stopping the funding. their real intention was the pork. yesterday a white house spokesperson admitted that all that pork, earmarks etc will be passed in separate bills. that’s the real deal that got passed.
    bush continues to be the “drunken sailor” when it comes to spending. he needs to call his sponsor. he’s not showing leadership. he continues to show how in military terms “bend over and grab your ankles”. any village idiot can get what they want if they give billions to get it.
    his next attempted accomplishment will be legalizing the open border–unless we stop him.

  6. Okay. I’ll do a political “dead pool.” As candidates and such round the bend. And, considering that the future is full of probabilities …
    I think Harry Reid finds himself in a fight for his chair. Among donks. (Not Nancy! Men understand she carries a knife famous for the testicles arleady removed.)
    But one’s enough. A senate rebellion. This would be funny! Because it would claim one of the GOP’s “ines” about retiring “the halp.”
    Nevada doesn’t count for points in the races that count for points. Let me explain. LBJ loomed large in the senate. He also came from Texas. Texas looms large on the map!
    So, for the TWO-PERCENTERS, who go back to congress, anyway; Harry Reid will be bounced out.
    By whom?
    Now, how would I know?
    But I did see Harry Truman “leaving in advance,” when 1952 rolled around. You bet. He was THAT scared of Ike!
    What do you think the People, in the LARGE MAJORITY, will pick? And, how would you address the left-tilting default owned by the donks?
    I’ve already “picked” their 2008 nominee. More likely to be McCain. Than not. (He’s been picked before. By others. Where there had been the argument; does he ride Hillary? Or will Hillary saddle him up?) You think I care?
    Probabilities are just guesses. Made in the dark.
    The biggest problem for the GOP, now, is Bush. Who sits in slow motion, most of the time.
    I guess we can throw in, “what will the iranians do? ” Since they’re players; using terror tactics for headlines. But do those headlines last? Or do they fall by the wayside as soon as another news bit comes up?
    Summer’s brutal in Tehran. It wouldn’t surprise me that temperatures could rise to 140-degress in the shade. You laugh?
    Well, during WW2, to feed General Chenault; and our army in China; we toodled through iran. (Where they had two railroad tracks. One for each of two directions. Goods were moved, by first going into the Straits of Hormoooz. And, the iranians laughed at the American soldiers. They said, “IN JULY THE FLIES KILL YOU. AND, IN AUGUST, THE HEAT.”
    The one thing iran doesn’t have is tourist attractions.
    While the Man Upstairs blows on the outcomes. Unseen. Really. While Olmert keeps sitting in his prime minister’s chair. In the prime minister’s office. Not what the right wants. But the word “right” used here, isn’t describing what’s right from wrong. Just political positioning in a complex world.
    While I’ll also guess, Bush will keep meeting with heads of states, for photo ops. One thing fer shur. Bush makes the presidency look very, very small.
    While the Internet remains complex. And, remains above all else, a place where people share ideas that aren’t found among the elites, and the conicent’ies. So be it.
    After Labor Day, I think the mix changes a bit. Since I do believe as Americans get serious about looking at the flaws in government; Fred Thompson will come out and blaze a NEW trail.
    Won’t be the old trail!
    What if McCain’s stock plummets, in the interim? Would the donks want him? Or would they want Guiliani? And, will some billionaire FOOL also run? What’s a billion dollars to a fool?
    Up ahead? Things get more complex. And, the TWO-PERCENTERS get a bit desperate, too.
    While the show is still in out-of-town try-outs. You want to be their re-write man?

  7. I screwed up the quote!
    The other thing? What if the Saud’s collapse?
    They’ve stolen the oil from the Shia in Saudi Arabia, ya know? So just because Shi’a sit on it, doesn’t mean it’s their’s.
    Nor are any of these people educated enough to deal with high tech. And/or military matters.
    Too bad Bush is such a putz.

  8. One side of higher power covering the otherside of high power in order to ignore the overwhelming will of the American People.
    If surrender is truly the overwhelming desire of the American People, please explain why “cover” is required at all. Seems to be that if you please an overwhelming percentage of the American People by defunding the war, there’d be congressmen trampling each other to get to be first in line to do so, and pork bribes wouldn’t be required.

  9. Dear Monkei,
    Pray allow me to thank you for yet another signature BDS meltdown. As always, it was…breathtaking.
    Honestly, have you ever thought about taking your act on the road?

  10. MarkJ …
    Pray allow me to thank you for yet another signature BDS meltdown. As always, it was…breathtaking.
    please pray as much as you want, you don’t need my permission but thanks for asking … I am not sure what bothered you about a simple statement about a simple fact. Pray help me understand!

  11. Monkei,
    I am so glad that blogging is forever, and that historians will be able to use your quotes as examples of just how irrational and ignorant and self-loathing your side actually got in this war.

Comments are closed.