Appropriate Appropriations

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Bush Administration, Congress, Democratic Party, Iraq War, Republican Party

Today the Senate is scheduled to resume consideration of H.R. 1591, the Supplemental Appropriations bill. There’s a summary of the bill here. If the Senate gets around to voting today I will post about it asap.

By now you’ve heard that the Senate rejected an amendment “To strike language that would tie the hands of the Commander-in-Chief by imposing an arbitrary timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, thereby undermining the position of American Armed Forces and jeopardizing the successful conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom.” The vote was 48 yes, 50 no. The vote split along party lines. One Dem — Pryor (D-AR) — and Joe Lieberman (whatever-CT) voted yes with the Republicans (Lieberman was a co-sponsor of the amendment). Two Republicans — Smith (R-OR) and Hagel (R-NE) — voted no with the Dems. The complete vote record is here.

Shailagh Murray reports for the Washington Post:

The defection of a prominent Republican war critic, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, sealed the Democrats’ win. Hagel, who opposed identical withdrawal language two weeks ago, walked onto the Senate floor an hour before the late-afternoon vote and announced that he would “not support sustaining a flawed and failing policy,” adding: “It’s now time for the Congress to step forward and establish responsible boundaries and conditions for our continued military involvement in Iraq.”

I don’t know how likely it is that the bill will pass as is. But if Congress does send a bill to the White House with conditions attached, expect to see the Olympics of Spinning in Washington. Who would get the blame if George Bush vetoes the bill and money for the Iraq War effort runs short? Seems to me the public might well blame Bush.

Elsewhere in Washington — Yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales cut and ran from a press conference when reporters asked him questions about the U.S. Attorney scandal. But never fear; you can find a video of the AG contradicting himself at Crooks and Liars.

D. Kyle Sampson is scheduled to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow; should be fun.

Today Henry Waxman’s House committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be hearing testimony from Lurita Alexis Doan, who is accused of using her position as chief of the General Services Administration for partisan political purposes.

Update:
See David Sirota, “The threat of a ‘clean’ Iraq supplemental still loom large.”

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. ray  •  Mar 28, 2007 @9:48 am

    Unless my paper had a misprint, I thought it was 50 yes and 48 no.

  2. maha  •  Mar 28, 2007 @9:51 am

    ray — your paper has a misprint. The amendment was rejected by 50 no votes.

  3. Mary Mary  •  Mar 28, 2007 @10:43 am

    The Republicans were Smith and Hagel. You have Pryor in there twice.

  4. maha  •  Mar 28, 2007 @11:25 am

    Mary Mary — thanks for the correction.

  5. ray  •  Mar 28, 2007 @11:57 am

    Then I must be misunderstanding something here.

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/chi-0703270743mar28,1,1392308.story?coll=chi-news-hed

    This link specifically states that a timetable has been established.

    “The Democrats, in a 50-48 vote largely along party lines, thwarted a Republican attempt to erase a U.S. withdrawal date attached to the proposed spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The move paves the way for a proposal that directs the president to begin the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq within 120 days of its enactment.”

    What am I reading wrong?

  6. maha  •  Mar 28, 2007 @12:34 pm

    Ray — focus, son —

    “The Democrats, in a 50-48 vote largely along party lines, thwarted a Republican attempt to erase a U.S. withdrawal date attached to the proposed spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

    “Thwarted” means DEFEATED. What was defeated was an AMENDMENT to the bill. This amendment would have removed the timetable. By defeating the amendment, the Dems kept the timetable in the bill.

    Thus, a “no” vote was a vote FOR the timetable, and a “yes” vote was a vote AGAINST the timetable.

    The vote was 50 no, 48 yes.

    They haven’t voted on the bill itself yet.

  7. Bonnie  •  Mar 28, 2007 @8:25 pm

    There are just too many double negatives in the writing about this to make it easily understandable. I had to diagram the sentences before I understood it was a win for Dems.

  8. Swami  •  Mar 28, 2007 @10:37 pm

    Sampson is going to try to shield himself in the term..” at the pleasure of the president” with the intention that most people will interpret that expression on it’s base value without reflection to its truth and rhetorical beauty to mean… whatever pleases his majesty, Bush. The President’s pleasure is not Bush’s will or the satisfaction of his desire, but the upholding of the ideals on which our nation was founded. Truth, Justice, and Equality before the Law..to name a few. It’s poetic speech for an abstract perfection that assumes honor and truth. It isn’t meant to subvert justice or twist the truth as the scoundrels will attempt to do.



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