Senate Republicans Filibuster Troop Readiness Measure

Well, the Republicans were at it again in top form today. Unsurprising news, I know. The Senate today took up an amendment sponsored by Jim Webb that would have improved military readiness and eased the burden on the American soldier by mandating that troops should have a period of rest equal to their time on active duty in combat. But rather than allowing an up-or-down vote on the amendment -- and it's usually the case that amendments get up-or-down votes, which in this case would have yielded a majority in favor of the amendment -- Senate Republicans instead opted to mount a filibuster, denying cloture on the measure.

The results of the vote have not yet been posted on the Senate's website, but the measure failed on a cloture vote of 56 to 41. I wasn't watching C-SPAN 2 during the vote so I wasn't making my own tally, but I'm hearing that Republican Senators like Pete Domenici, who were portrayed in the media as having broken with the President and the pro-war faction of the GOP on Iraq, voted in favor of a filibuster of this measure. It would come as little surprise if these Senators did not follow their words with actual action.

I'll do a breakdown of the vote when it's finally posted, but below the fold, Senator Webb's statement preceding the vote...

Update [2007-7-11 14:30:9 by Todd Beeton]: The only Republicans to vote for cloture were Norm Coleman, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, John Sununu, Chuck Hagel, Gordon Smith and John Warner (of whom all but Snowe are up for re-election next year.) As this handy chart reminds us, of the six up for re-election, five (Coleman, Collins, Hagel, Smith and Warner) had voted to end debate on the withdrawal timeline bill. So, on this measure alone, we've only gained one vote -- that of Sununu.

Senator Webb Faults Republican Filibuster Of Amendment To Support Troops

"Today the Republicans decided to filibuster an amendment that goes straight to the well-being of our troops.  I deeply regret this move, which makes it necessary for the amendment to be passed with a minimum of 60 votes instead of 51.

"I would remind my colleagues on the Republican side of the aisle that the American people are watching us closely today. They expect us to finally take the sort of positive action that might stabilize the operational environment in which our troops are being sent again and again.

"Americans are tired of the posturing that is giving Congress such a bad reputation. They are tired of the procedural strategies designed to protect politicians from accountability, and to protect this Administration from judgment.  They are looking for concrete actions that will protect the well-being of our men and women in uniform.

"The question on this amendment is not whether you support this war or whether you do not.  It is not whether you want to wait until July or September to see where one particular set of benchmarks or summaries might be taking us. The question is this: more than four years into ground operations in Iraq, we owe stability, and a reasonable cycle of deployment, to the men and women who are carrying our nation's burden. That is the question. And that is the purpose of this amendment."

Tags: 110th congress, Iraq, Jim Webb, Obstructionism, Senate Republicans (all tags)

Comments

13 Comments

56 isn't a terrible number.

Assuming Johnson votes with us (not a bad assumption given that he'd be voting with every other Democratic Senator - including conservative red-state '08-ers such as Baucus and Landrieu), that's 57.  Meaning we're 3 votes away from cloture and 10 votes away from a veto-override.

The last time-table vote three months ago made it to 51 (would be 52 with Johnson).

So we gained 5 votes.  We just need to do that two more times.

by Ramo 2007-07-11 09:10AM | 0 recs
Re: 56 isn't a terrible number.

Very insightful analysis.  McConnell was on the floor railing about the "waste of time" of continually having votes that Reid knows will be filabustered.  In fact, it's a great tactic because we peel off a Reublican here and there everytime we do it.  At this rate, we will have the votes we need in September when that war criminal in the White House needs more money to murder people.

by Lassallean 2007-07-11 09:38AM | 0 recs
Senate republicans

I hsve little hope that the Dems are going to have the votes necessary to get a pull out of Iraq before the next election. There are plenty of inconsistencies around, they just voted for an Iraqi supplemental so it isn't required of the republicans to move.

by olawakandi 2007-07-11 09:38AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate republicans

As long as they keep trying and don't give up, I'll be satisfied until the next election.  Keep the pressure on the R Senators who want to keep their seats in 2008.

by chadlupkes 2007-07-11 10:08AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate republicans

The Repubs have got it calculated.  They allow the endangered senators to vote against cloture.  None of those are real votes with the Democrats.  We should not celebrate peeling off votes.  They will always have 41 to filibuster.

by pioneer111 2007-07-11 01:59PM | 0 recs
To the criminally insane GOP ...

...and co-star Joe Lieberman:

Here's more on your Iraqi 'progress', from the local press:

*
*"...Sunni extremists seize control of village in Iraq..."
*"...biggest barrages against the [green ]zone since the US-led invasion in 2003...."
*"...for the past three weeks US troops have been fighting to dislodge insurgents who had turned the provincial capital, Baqouba, in to their stronghold..."
http://www.dailystar.com.lb/article.asp? edition_id=10&categ_id=2&article _id=83734

So today, after this vote, contrary to statements Sen. puppet Jim Bunning just made on the Senate floor:
Iraq IS now officially and exclusively, a Republican run war/fiasco. F$#@ 'bi-partisanship'!
The troops need to know this.

And they also need to know that until Bush is gone, the Democrats have been and will continue to be champions for them and their families, on their behalf, and will always will be there 100% for them.

It's the cowardly Right alone, who hide behind the brave bodies they've sacrificed.  All in the name of greed.

The incestual brutality they commit on their own children will not going unnoticed by their own God.

by hazmaq 2007-07-11 10:54AM | 0 recs
Who are the two no shows

assuming that Johnson wasn't there for health reasons?

by Nazgul35 2007-07-11 10:57AM | 0 recs
Re: Who are the two no shows

Obama and Clinton, I believe?

by pioneer111 2007-07-11 01:57PM | 0 recs
Re: Who are the two no shows

Nope.  Obama & Clinton were there and voted the right way.  The other no shows were Brownback & Vitter (apparently he was needed at home).

by Blue Bear 2007-07-11 04:55PM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Filibuster Troop Readiness

I just sent the following email to:
Schumer and Clinton (my Senators), plus Reid, Durbin, Byrd (as leaders) and Levin.  Anyone else?

MAKE THE REPUBLICANS ACTUALLY FILIBUSTER WEBB'S BILL...not just let them off the hook with a cloture vote that leads to headlines like "Dems lose vote" instead of "Republicans filibuster TROOP PROTECTION ACT."  

by borlov 2007-07-11 11:01AM | 0 recs
Re: Senate Republicans Filibuster Troop Readiness

Wait a minute? You.. you want us to actually fight effectively! That is preposterous I say, if we did that we would have to gasp actually lead.

Nobody in the Senate has any interest in actually leading, they are content to lose cloture vote after cloture vote; then when it is all over throw their hands in the air and say "we tried."

We need leaders, and all we have there is a bunch of wannabe martyrs.

by JDF 2007-07-11 03:00PM | 0 recs
How deep will they go?

OK now let's see what the Democrats too.

Lieberman offers an amendment to the Defense Programs:  Re a "gov't" report on Iran in Iraq.

Like we'll believe the Bush governments word on anything??
Neither he nor Levin discussed it's details much.

Anything out of Lieberman sweaty hands and mouth should send a smelly warning to Levin.

Apparently not. Levin's' back on the Lieberman train to hell, again.

1 down, 48 to go.

??

by hazmaq 2007-07-11 12:09PM | 0 recs
Remember this vote!

All Democrats voted with Lieberman, on an undisclosed bill about Iran/Iraq.

This has an undisclosed purpose.  I don't know what it is yet, but we all know Joe.  And Dick and George.

Stay tuned.

by hazmaq 2007-07-11 12:31PM | 0 recs

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