The House, not the Senate, Will end the War
In his latest front page entry, Markos quotes Dick Durbin saying that he will likely be unwilling to vote against the new supplemental funding the George Bush has requested.
Even opponents of the war, as Durbin calls himself, find themselves likely to vote for the extra money, he said. "When it comes to the budget, I face a dilemma that some of my colleagues do," he said.In other words, Dubin plans to do nothing.
He voted against the war "but felt that I should always provide the resources for the troops in the field," Durbin said. "But it's now reached a point where we have got to change the way we appropriate this money."
Though he said he is likely to approve the increased request -- it would accompany a pending request for an additional $147 billion in war funding -- Durbin said he would work to attach conditions to it that would require troops to begin coming home in the spring.
Recent history tells us that we should not be surprised. Nor, indeed, should we look for the Senate to end the war.
Just look at the last supplemental vote. In the Senate, Only 14 voted against the bill. Two of those Senators who voted no were Republicans, and they did not vote no because they wanted to end the war in Iraq. In other words, not even a quarter of the majority in that body considered taking a serious step to end the war.
In the House, we see a different picture. 142 members voted no. Most were Democrats. More than a majority of the majority voted against the funding. In other words, if we can convince Nancy Pelosi to operate the House under the "Hastert Rule," which held that only bills supported by the majority of the majority would be given assistance by House leadership, then we can be much closer to defunding. To be sure, it is possible that Republicans will get a discharge resolution and pass the spending anyway, but if they do, then it least our Democratic majority will not be complicit in helping to extend the war.
Put the Senate out of your head. It's the House that matters.
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