Friday, March 23, 2007

House Votes for War Funding

By Rae Abileah

Today the House passed the supplemental spending bill. Below is CODEPINK’s immediate response. We were in the basement of the Rayburn building (where many reps go to get to the underground tram to the Capitol en route to voting) with bloody hands and shirts saying “If you buy it, you own it” this morning. We had many interesting interactions with reps regarding the funding. Here is our statement about the vote:

Peace Movement Disappointed With Democrat Funding for War

Determined to Stop Future Funding and Bring Our Troops Home

Today, the House of Representatives passed the "Iraq Accountability Act" giving the President an additional $100 billion to continue the US occupation and associated military operations in Iraq. While this binding measure establishes a deadline for the removal of most combat troops by August 31, 2008, the conditions set forth in the bill fall far short of where Congress should be on its path to bringing the troops home. CODEPINK believes that not one more dollar should be appropriated for continued war and occupation, and will continue to push the position that Congress should only fund the safe, orderly and rapid withdrawal of all troops by the end of this year.

CODEPINK will continue to demand that Congress be accountable to the American people’s clarion call last November 7 to end the war. Despite many expert opinions that say that the US priority in Iraq must be to support political and diplomatic solutions rather than military operations, we are still burdened with an exclusively military strategy and additional funding for war and occupation.

Members of Congress who voted for the supplemental bill see it as the first small step toward the major policy shift we seek. The work of the peace movement, and particularly that of CODEPINK, has been instrumental in moving us closer to our goal to end the war. Speaker Pelosi, talking to the Democratic Caucus on the eve of the vote, mentioned the pressure she was getting from CODEPINK camping out on her doorstep! Congress has moved this far only because of public pressure, and to reach further public pressure must and will continue. CODEPINK will now press for the best supplemental bill possible out of the Senate, the best bill possible out of Conference, and the best bill possible from the Defense Authorization that will be coming up in April. CODEPINK continues to fight for better funding legislation that will finally and completely end the US military presence in Iraq.

Meet with your Congresspeople during the Congressional Recess April 2-16!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am sick to death of hearing the fake opposition Dems in Congress moan about not having enough votes to end the war in Iraq. They give lip service to the myth that the only way to end the war is to write a bill saying "the war is now over" and send it to Bush for a prompt veto, then override the veto. They then throw up their hands, saying "Well, as you can see, we don't have the votes to override any veto, so there's no way to end the war. Sorry folks."

This is disingenious and vividly illustrates who the Dems are really serving: the establishment, not their constituents.

Here's how to end the war: No bill specifically ending the war is even necessary. Remember those supplemental funding bills the Cheney regime has to constantly ask for, to continue funding the Iraq war piecemeal instead of in yearly lump sums attached to the actual defense budget? That's the achilles' heel of their war effort. The next time Bush asks for another $80 billion or whatever to keep the Iraq bloodbath going, all the Democrats have to do to end the war is to say: NO. To say "We won't allocate one more penny for your illegal war". Last I checked the Dems have a wafer-thin majority in both houses. With no Dems voting for the next spending bill it won't be passed and thus it won't make it to Bush's desk for signing. Bush (and especially his puppetmaster Cheney) may have concentrated an inordinate amount of power in the hands of the executive branch, but even they can't send spending bills to their own desk. That necessarily has to come from Congress. If it never reaches his desk he can't sign it, and will have 2 choices: 1.pull the troops out while there is still enough money left in the pipeline so to speak to allow an orderly withdrawl (and anyone who has five or more brain cells knows that the money isn't going to run out the next day, that's a non-issue that the right wing tries to use as a scare tactic but it is ridiculously dumbed down and simply not true; they don't wait until they have $5 left before asking for another supplemental OK?); or 2.don't pull them out right away, and leave them to wither on the vine in Iraq until the money DOES completely run out and they have to withdraw from Iraq chaotically, burning their supplies and vehicles. Either way the war will end pretty soon if the Dems refuse to vote on supplementals. They don't have to write a bill saying they are cutting off funding; this is only a fig leaf so they can pretend to be doing something to end the war when all they are doing is purposely spinning their wheels. All they have to do is to NOT VOTE ON SUPPLEMENTALS. Pretty effing simple. The people NOW need to DEMAND in so many words that if the Democrats are a genuine opposition party that they will carry out the will of the people and NOT VOTE on supplementals. If they are a fake opposition party as I feel they are, and are acting not in the people's interest but playing for the same team as the Republicans, then continue with more of the same hand-wringing and impotent nonbinding resolutions that resolve nothing. Decision time Democrats. Which are you? Genuine? Or fake opposition? I think I already know the answer to that one but why don't you surprise me?