What the Congress must do now, if Mr. Bush continues to refuse the $50 billion with conditions, is simply to pass no bill, leaving the Pentagon to finance its activities with the $482 billion it has already been authorized. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates and the contractors behind the scenes will undoubtedly squawk, and the Republicans will posture politically, but the Democrats in the Congress, whom the electorate has counted on since November 2006 to bring the war to an end, will just have to take the heat. [Emphasis mine]
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In that context, the vote on the motion to recommit on tonight's Iraq supplemental funding appropriation seems especially important to me. 223 Democrats voted no on that motion, which would have given the President $50B, no questions asked. They were joined by 8 Republicans.
To me it seems obvious that the Presidednt could be in dangerous territory: the House could actually have the votes to defeat ANY clean funding bill. We might, against all odds and predictions, actually be able to end the war during this Congress.
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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.
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See also C&L.
Q: If George W. Bush vetoes the legislation, do you think Congress should pass another version of the bill that provides funding for the war without any conditions for troop withdrawal, or should Congress refuse to pass any funding bill until Bush agrees to accept conditions for withdrawal?
Fund the war without conditions: 43%
Withhold funding until Bush signs: 45%
Don't know: 12%
I am more moderate than the American People - I support the Reid-Feingold bill, which calls for funding to a date certain, March 31, 2008.
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