Analysis of First House Vote On Iraq Withdrawal

Yesterday, the following amendment to The National Defense Authorization Act, FY `06 was voted on in the House: It is the sense of Congress that the president should-- (1) develop a plan as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act to provide for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq; and (2) transmit to the congressional defense committees a report that contains the plan described in paragraph (1). The amendment marked the first time that withdrawal from Iraq has been voted on in the House since the start of the war. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) introduced the amendment, and forced a roll call vote. The amendment went down 128-300. While this was not an actual vote on withdrawal, since the amendment it did not specify a timetable or rescind Bush's authorization to conduct the war, it does at least provide a general sense of where the House currently stands on withdrawal. We are ninety votes short of reaching 218, which actually isn't that bad when you consider that seventy-nine Democrats voted against the amendment. What is somewhat less hopeful is how the different Democratic subgroups in the House voted (12 Blue Dogs are also DLC, and so total Democrats and Bernie Sanderses do not add up to 203):

Progressives: 92.2% (47 of 51 voted in favor)
Non-aligned: 63.3% (57 of 90 voted in favor)
DLC: 35.9% (14 of 39 voted in favor)
Blue Dogs: 14.3% (5 of 35 voted in favor)
Republicans: 2.2% (5 of 232 voted in favor)

There is clearly a gaping divide in the Democratic Party over Iraq. While the non-aligned Democrats are, as usual, almost precisely between the DLC and the Progressives, the difference between the DLCers and the Progressives is much, much larger than normal. While my last update on Congressional voting loyalty showed only a 16.6% gap between the two groups, here we see a galactic 56.3% divide. When it comes to withdrawal, these two Democratic groups are actually more dissimilar than similar. Further, the Blue Dogs are actually closer o the Republicans than the DLC. Iraq policy remains the ultimate wedge within the Democratic Party.

I should point out that the twenty-seven members of the DLC who are not also members of the Blue Dogs actually voted slightly in favor of withdrawal. Fourteen of those twenty-seven voted Yes, twelve voted No, and one did not vote. Also, Nancy Pelosi was one of the four Progressives who voted No. When the majority lacks the support of the leadership, disunity of this sort is to be expected.

Tags: House 2006 (all tags)

Comments

7 Comments

Progressives
I'm surprised that Blue Dogs and DLC'ers (62) out-number Progressives (51) in the House. Does anyone know if the Progressive Caucus is growing or shrinking  as a caucus?
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-05-27 03:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Progressives
They've remained pretty much static in size since they were founded. The started out in the '90s with fifty. Now they have fifty-two. Not exactly what I'd call exponential growth...
by craverguy 2005-05-27 05:31PM | 0 recs
Correction.
According to their official website, the progressives have fifty-four members. That's a little better...I guess.
by craverguy 2005-05-27 05:41PM | 0 recs
Nice
128 votes is nothing to sneeze at. This number will grow, in time.

If nothing else, this is warning shot across this administration's bow.

by Tod Westlake 2005-05-27 03:37PM | 0 recs
Did Bernie Sanders clone himself?
Exactly how many Bernie Sanderses are running about?

:-P

by Geotpf 2005-05-27 04:11PM | 0 recs
A poor indicator
I don't think this vote should be incorporated into the overall picture, because it doesn't actually represent a position. The purpose of this amendment is not to ask Bush for a timetable, but to bring attention to the fact that he can't produce one and capitalize on that, so this vote doesn't measure where the caucuses stand on the war so much as it measures who can afford to attack Bush over it. That may be something worth measuring, but as far as I remember, this exercise was intended to measure where members stand on actual issues.
by MrOnion 2005-05-27 05:23PM | 0 recs
the amendment I'd push
I would like to see an amendment that says the end state is to have no U.S. military personnel, bases or hardware in Iraq.
by Carl Nyberg 2005-05-27 07:14PM | 0 recs

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