Are Senate Dems Proposing A Date Certain To End Funding for Iraq Debacle?

An AP report on a Iraq proposal spearheaded by Sen. Byrd:

Senate Democrats have drafted a $121.5 billion war spending bill that would direct President Bush to begin bringing home troops from Iraq with the goal of ending U.S. combat missions there in just over a year.

But unlike that resolution, Democrats think the spending legislation has a much better chance of passing. Sen. Ben Nelson, a Democrat who voted against last week's resolution, has agreed to support the spending legislation because it includes a provision he wants outlining benchmarks for the Iraqi government.

Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, D-W.Va., released details to panel members Wednesday in anticipation of a committee vote on the bill on Thursday.

(Emphasis supplied.) The key point for me is whether the funding is to the date certain Byrd specifies March 31, 2008. If it is, I think it likely that I could strongly support such a measure. I'll remind those who have not understood my views on the flip.

One imagines that Sen. Nelson would probably not want my support for the bill but it very well may meet my criteris. A reminder of what I want:

For the record, this is my proposal:

In reality there are two positions available now -for ending the Debacle or for continuing it. It is that simple. And the choice is binary. Because President George W. Bush makes it so. Bush listens to no one, except Cheney.

Many ask 'so what is a Democratic Congress to do?' With Mitch McConnell promising filibusters to all attempts to revoke the Iraq AUMF, cap troop levels and to cut funding for the Iraq Debacle, what is it I am asking of the Democratic Congress?

Let me explain again - I ask for three things: First, announce NOW that the Democratic Congress will NOT fund the Iraq Debacle after a date certain. You pick the date. Whatever works politically. If October 2007 is the date Dems can agree to, then let it be then. If March 2008, then let that be the date; Second, spend the year reminding the President and the American People every day that Democrats will not fund the war past the date certain; Third, do NOT fund the Iraq Debacle PAST the date certain.

Some argue we will never have the votes for this. That McConnell will filibuster, that Bush will veto. To them I say I KNOW. But filbustering and vetoing does not fund the Iraq Debacle. Let me repeat, to end the war in Iraq, the Democratic Congress does not have to pass a single bill; they need only NOT pass bills that fund the Iraq Debacle.

But but but, defund the whole government? Defund the whole military? What if Bush does not pull out the troops? First, no, not defund the government, defund the Iraq Debacle. If the Republicans choose to shut down government in order to force the continuation of the Iraq Debacle, do not give in. Fight the political fight. We'll win. Second, defund the military? See answer to number one. Third, well, if you tell the American People what is coming for a year, and that Bush is on notice, that it will be Bush abandoning the troops in Iraq, we can win that politcal battle too.

Understand this, if you want to end the Iraq Debacle, this is the only way until Bush is not President. If you are not for this for ending the war, tell me what you do support. I think this is the only way. And if you shy away from the only way to end the Debacle, then you really are not for ending the war are you?

If Byrd's proposal is for funding to a date certain and NOT funding after that, then I am on board. I am not concerned but benchmarks and fake conditions. I am only concerned about the funding.

The rest is just noise. March 31, 2008 as a date certain is realistic and politically viable. The key is beating the drum for the year (it should not be in the bill itself) that there will be no more funding for US involvement in the Raq Debacle AFTER that date. Training and operations against terrorists is NOT combat involvement in Iraq in my view.

From what I know so far about this proposal I am hopeful. Let the disastrous House bill fade away please. Byrd's proposal seems much more promising.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I've been on about Byrd for weeks. (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 05:15:21 PM EST
    If anyone in the Congress can cut off money alone, it's him.

    March is the best we can expect (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by buhdydharma on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 05:28:27 PM EST
    Any info on Pryor?

    Any thoughts on Goopers (hope that is not profanity!) willing to cross over?

    not to be negative, but (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by conchita on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 11:34:36 PM EST
    didn't byrd make a speech round about the time of the alito confirmation hearings?  sorry but i haven't been able to trust him since.  i hope he comes through this time.

    Byrd made (5.00 / 1) (#11)
    by Che's Lounge on Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 12:24:25 AM EST
    a great speech on the eve of the Iraqi oil grab. I have rarely seen such an impassioned, desperate plea for cooler heads to prevail, culminating with a fierce admonition about the potential consequences of such a brazen act. How very prescient.

    Supporting the war for another year (none / 0) (#2)
    by Andreas on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 05:19:08 PM EST
    March 31, 2008 as a date certain is realistic and politically viable.

    One more year for a criminal war. Supported by the Democratic Party.

    Training and operations against terrorists is NOT combat involvement in Iraq in my view.

    The official line of the regime is that all of the operations in Iraq are directed against terrorists.

    Caution is appropriate when a supporter of the Democratic Party claims to oppose the war.

    It is already (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by taylormattd on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 06:56:47 PM EST
    going to go on until September 2007. That $ was appropriated by the previous republican Congress.

    For the future (none / 0) (#4)
    by LarryE on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 06:04:53 PM EST
    Training and operations against terrorists is NOT combat involvement in Iraq in my view.

    It is in mine, not only because of the danger of mission creep (and the ease with which any incident can be - and has been - labeled a "terrorist act") but because it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy: The presence of US troops provides a target for some terrorist act which justifies the continuing presence of US troops which provides a target - and the beat goes on.

    But we can argue about that later. For the moment, if a coda can be put on combat operations, I will be happy.

    Again (none / 0) (#6)
    by roboleftalk on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 07:48:57 PM EST
    this is in the form of a spending bill, right?  Bush will veto.

    So, the proviso Byrd (and perhaps Pelosi) should send should be: this is it.  No more funding bills.  Take it or leave it.  If the house/senate/Bush do not accept this, there'll be no more funding bills, period.  The democrats will allow no other funding bill to the floor.  Funding will simply lapse if this does not pass and get Bush's signature.

    a video explanation of the result of all this (none / 0) (#7)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 09:31:27 PM EST
    the coming date (none / 0) (#8)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 10:29:49 PM EST
    How exactly is Hillary going to vote on this one since she has to vote on the record and has spoken on both sides of this issue lately?  

    sen byrd (none / 0) (#9)
    by orionATL on Wed Mar 21, 2007 at 10:54:55 PM EST
    thanks btd. i had not heard of this at all.

    i seem to recall sen byrd giving a very powerful speech with the refrain "it's time to come home" or "it's time to bring them home."

    john murtha has used this same line, so i may be mixing things up, but i believe byrd said something similar.

    can any other reader confirm this and give a reference?

    how about a posted copy of the speech?

    sen byrd is a work of art who knows how to make things happen.

    i'm watching this, and betting on it, more than the rest of the back-and-forth that's been going on since january.

    and btd, if this works, jump on it. we won't get a better deal.