Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush

There will be no filibuster of the Iraq supplemental in the Senate:
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he won't block Senate passage of an Iraq war spending bill even if the GOP fails to kill its troop withdrawal deadline because he knows President Bush will veto it.

Facing a cliffhanging vote this week, McConnell promised to fight the provision, which calls for -- but does not require -- combat troops to be brought home within a year. Even if he fails, McConnell said he won't stand in the way of the bill's final passage because the sooner it is sent to the president, the sooner Bush can veto it.
Does anyone else find it suspicious that Republicans won't try to filibuster this bill, even though they filibustered other bills Bush promised to veto, such as the original version of the minimum wage increase? Couldn't McConnell have done exactly the same thing over the original version of the minimum wage bill, allow it to pass the Senate and then have bushy veto it, that he is doing here? Why protect Bush from the earlier veto, but force him into this veto? The only conclusion I can draw is that on the minimum wage, Senate Republicans wanted to take credit for the tax cuts they eventually forced into the minimum wage bill, but on Iraq they are tired of taking credit for Bush's war. After all, while the American people like minimum wage increases and at least like the sound of tax cuts, they also hate Bush and hate the Iraq war. Of course they would want to take credit for the minimum wage bill, while forcing Bush to take credit for the war.

It will be crucial for Democrats to not allow Congressional Republicans to get away with this. We need to hammer the point home that virtually every Congressional Republican is still voting with Bush, and that they probably won't join Democrats in overturning Bush's veto. It will be just as important to make sure that Democrats hold fast on the supplemental. Public opinion is overwhelmingly behind them on the supplemental, and the only way they should be changing the supplemental is to make it stronger, not weaker. Either Bush gets funding through a bill that that requires the war to end in eighteen months, or he gets nothing at all and the war ends even sooner than that.

Tags: Iraq, Republicans, Senate 2008 (all tags)



Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush 1/4501

Maybe they've counted the votes and determined that the supplemental will lose straight up without a veto?
If Leiberman votes against and Tim Johnson is indisposed, which Republicans are going to vote for the bill? Hegel? Maine's senators?
Probably McConnell's a good whip and he's got his votes counted.

by jujube 2007-03-26 05:21PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush

jujube and I discussed this in my diary yesterday (link above).  I am now pretty much convinced we don't have the votes to pass this.  If Webb doesn't vote for this I will be very disappointed.  Maybe we'll have to find a way to get Tim Johnson in to vote.  It may not even be that close though with the R's almost completely unified.  

by IsThisOverYet 2007-03-27 06:24AM | 0 recs
Maybe an ignorant question:

Say Bush gets nothing. The occupation is suddenly entirely unfunded.

But he doesn't care: he keeps the troops in Iraq. (We can stop the funding, but we can't issue the actual orders to bring the troops home, yes?)

Two days after the defunding, we start reading stories about troops running out of ammunition. About the lack of MREs. Our troops are starving and outgunned in Iraq, because THE WAR IS NOT BEING FUNDED!

Two days after that, the stories become horrific. The cover of Time shows troops dying for lack of funding.

Furious fingerpointing, as Ds remind the country that Bush vetoed the funding, and loyal Bushies demand: "Fund our troops now! Fund our troops now ... or you're responsible for every death."

One side will cave. The side that cares more for the actual troops than political victory will cave. The side that refuses to sacrifice soldiers will quickly issue an emergency funding bill of some sort, yes? This is like the story of King Solomon and the baby: the people who care most are willing to accept defeat because they don't want the baby cut in half.

Am I wrong in how this would play out? Does anyone believe that Bush is above playing chicken with American lives for political gain and his grandiose and deluded self-image?  

What's to stop this from happening?

by BingoL 2007-03-26 05:24PM | 0 recs
Re: Maybe an ignorant question:

Troops will not run out of ammunition or food in days, or even weeks, unless that's what they're trying to do.  Basic supplies are ordered years in advance.  In addition there are local sources for food, weapons and ammunition.  If commanders were ever faced with a situation of limited resources they'd hunker down and conserve what they had.

Troops have already died because the Republican Administration & Republican Congress haven't provided proper equipment to the troops, exploding the myth that they support them.

by macamma 2007-03-26 08:15PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush
   Curious - I'm not sure what to make of this.  McConnell seems to think that the Democrats will be forced to pass a no-strings-attached funding bill.  Is he right?  Would Democrats in the House let this happen?
    It seems we have 49 votes without Johnson.  According to the article, Nelson will vote for the supplemental (I don't understand the reasoning for this switch).  Pryor won't vote for it because it has a "public timetable."  All I can say is that because Pryor is up for reelection in 2008, he needs a primary challenger.  There's no reason for Pryor's bad decision considering he represents a Democratic state like Arkansas.  Lt. Governor Bill Halter is considering a primary challenge.  We should support him.
    I still think that Gordon Smith, or any Republican really, is too cowardly to cast the deciding vote.  A Republican has to do it, even counting Johnson's vote.
by cilerder86 2007-03-26 05:32PM | 0 recs
One difference.

I believe that Bush did not threaten to veto the minimum wage bill, only that he "preferred" that it pass with some sort of tax cut package for small business.  The Republicans in the Senate may have filibustered because they weren't confident in Bush vetoing the bill.

by you like it 2007-03-26 05:48PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush

So what happens after Bush vetoes?

by mcc 2007-03-26 06:29PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush

McConnell thinks the Democrats don't have a majority to pass the bill in the Senate; otherwise, he would try to filibuster.  If McConnell is right, this would be a huge defeat for the Democrats.

by Lassallean 2007-03-26 08:07PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush

They have sold this war on so many lies, It is time we put them under oath about their actions and hold them accountable. It is the only patriotic thing to do

Watch them in The Masters of War here: ho

by diggperson 2007-03-26 11:47PM | 0 recs
Bush wants to veto the bill

There is an old saying in the law: "If you can't argue the facts, argue the law."

The GOP does not want to talk about the facts on the ground in Iraq.  Much better from their perspective to argue over process (ie what role should Congress have in the Iraq debate).

I don't think the liberal blogspere gets this distinction.

by fladem 2007-03-27 01:24AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush

how do you count the D votes?

webb has said he is against a withdrawal timeline while pryor and nelson (ne) voted against the most recent iraq resolution.

any idea how they are planning to vote?

by selise 2007-03-27 01:49AM | 0 recs
Re: Why should Bush veto the bill?

Maybe the reason the Republicans will not stop the passage of this bill is because Bush will give them political cover.  Bush will the sign the bill into law with a signing statement that Congress has no authority to tell him what to do.  Then he ignores the part of the law that he doesn't like. What's the difference to him?  Bush does what he wants, when he wants.  What does the law mean to him?

by daddy0298 2007-03-27 04:47AM | 0 recs
its a game of chicken

there wont be any funding ofr Iraq come mid-April. he needs congress to give him a spending bill for his war. period.  by refusing a funding bill with a timetable for withdrawal he could potentially force an immediate withdrawal due to no funds available for the war (think the 1994 Govt shutdown: Iraqi-style.  Its now a game of hot potato with regard to who is holding up funds when the deadline is immediately imminent.

by jmotoole 2007-03-27 06:59AM | 0 recs


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