Some Democrats will support ‘spending restrictions’ on the Iraq war

Posted by: ST on December 29, 2006 at 5:34 pm

Because it’s “time to get out.” Via the Brattleboro Reformer:

WASHINGTON — Fearing President Bush is poised to escalate the Iraq war, several New England Democrats said they will support spending restrictions to block a potential troop surge, or even leverage a withdrawal.

It is a challenging maneuver that could crosscut the promises of their incoming Democratic leaders to financially support the administration’s war plan while simultaneously calling on the president to reduce the United States’ presence in Iraq.

Moreover, the attempts to design spending roadblocks are muddied by divisions within a Democratic Party leery two years before a presidential election of losing its new and narrow majority by appearing soft on terrorism and against the troops, lawmakers and analysts say.

Still, several New England lawmakers expressed frustration with reports that Bush might stream up to 30,000 troops into Iraq. The lawmakers said they would support attempts to employ congressional purse powers to block any move toward enlarging the U.S. footprint in a country descending toward civil war.

Others said they would try to cut funding altogether, with or without the surge.

Vermont Sen. Patrick Leahy, a Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, is having discussions with other senators about legislation that would restrict the president’s use of the military.

He said the “only way” a withdrawal would occur is through the budget process.

“I don’t know anyone who believes we’ll see an end to (the Iraq war) the way we’re doing it now,” he said in an interview. “It’s time to get out of there.”


If the president rejects the Iraq Study Group recommendations, such as withdrawing troops by 2008, the spending measure could provide an opening for lawmakers to place restrictions on the president’s use of military money.

“What will the president do? That’s the $64 million question,” said Congressman-elect Peter Welch, D-Vt. “I would oppose adding troops. And I would support steps to deny funding for adding more troops.”

There is a movement in Congress to halt all funding for the war, but it has gained only marginal support.

Nineteen House members signed onto the measure, offered by Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass., last year to slash all funding for military operations in Iraq, except the cost of mobilizing a withdrawal.

Aside from McGovern, Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., was the only other New England House member to cosponsor the bill, named the “End the War in Iraq Act.”

Sound familiar?

McGovern’s bill is reminiscent of a similar effort to end the Vietnam War, offered by former Sens. Mark Hatfield of Oregon and George McGovern of South Dakota in 1970. The Hatfield-McGovern amendment, later named the “Amendment to End the War,” was narrowly defeated on the floor, but marked a turning point after which several narrower spending measures restricting military operations in Southeast Asia were adopted.

Now similar amendments that could restrict the president’s options in Iraq are being discussed, said Rep. Marty Meehan, D-Mass., a member of the Armed Services Committee.

“Many of us are discussing all options relative to funding and what we can do to get us out of Iraq,” he said in an interview. “To the extent there are amendments to push the administration on Iraq, I think you’ll see those kind of amendments.”

Rep. Jack Murtha, D-Pa., has proposed banning any money for permanent bases in Iraq. John Podesta, former chief of staff under President Clinton, urged lawmakers this week to pass a measure prohibiting Bush from deploying more than 150,000 troops to Iraq.

Divisions within the Democratic Party, however, could prevent those and other measures from passing. Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has dismissed efforts to cut troop funding, and incoming Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has endorsed a troop surge if it hastens training of Iraqi forces.

Rep. Michael Capuano, D-Mass., is on Pelosi’s transition team. He said the divergence among Democrats “is going to be very, very difficult” for Pelosi to manage.

“The Democratic caucus is not unified,” added Capuano, who supports withholding Iraq war funding, except from the cost of bringing troops home.

Rep. Charlie Rangel, the new head of the House Ways and Means Committee (who has been busy these days mocking our Commander in Chief), is not mentioned in that piece but he is also a proponent of cutting off funds for the Iraq war.

I so hope they try this. I really, really do. Let’s have a national debate about funding the war, Democrats, ok? And Republicans, don’t forget to mention the last time this happened and who was responsible for it.

Democrats don’t mind continuing to throw money into failed social program after failed social program here in the United States over and over and over again year after year because they don’t want to “hurt the poor” and really believe these programs do “some good” but yet they don’t seem to mind financially undercutting (or at the very least considering it) war missions past and present when they believe them to be failures. In other words, they’re ok with continuously funding their failures, but not ok with funding what they believe to be Republican failures.

For all the bumbling and stumbling we’ve sometimes seen from the Republican leadership on the Iraq war, putting Democrats in control of the purse strings of it was tantamount to putting the Keystone Cops in charge of our national security.

God help us all.

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6 Responses to “Some Democrats will support ‘spending restrictions’ on the Iraq war”


  1. NC Cop says:

    So, basically, they have declared defeat and want to ensure that Iraq becomes something far worse than the Taliban in Afghanistan ever was. Brilliant.

    I find it ironic that we, as a nation, are doing exactly what Osama Bin Laden said that we would. He told his followers that the U.S. is a “paper tiger” and you don’t need to defeat the U.S. on the battlefield, just draw the conflict out long enough and inflict enough casualties and we will leave before the job is done. Nice of the democrats to prove Bin Laden right.

  2. benning says:

    NC Cop: Yup! You’ve got it!

    What we need is a way to de-fund the Democrats. Any ideas?

  3. sanity says:

    Keystone Cops ARE in charge of security.

    Unfortunately whether it’s Democrat or Republican, its the same mentality of clowns running things.

    Had republicans in charge and they acted like democrats were in charge.

    Have democrats in charge and they are going to try and ride rough-shod over alot of things.

    Border security? Joke.
    Airport Security? Still a Joke.

    We were hurt with a deadly strike on US soil (9/11) and while I have seen alot of bleating about security on both sides, I still see glaring holes in security. Many times I see passengers have snuck or tested security and it failed completely.

    Border security? What security?
    They are underfunded, hands are tied and play the catch and release game….hoping that the illegal immigrants will come back to court for deportation. I’m sorry but that is retarded.

    Republicans were bad on security. We just have to admit it. They allowed the Democrats who were in a minority to act like they were the ones in charge. They did not listen to the Ameican people when they said to start enforcing the LAW, and start with securing our borders.

    I am a moderate in this thinking, I don’t suggest rounding every illegal up. I suggest securing our borders FIRST, then we untie the hands of the police allowing them to get the gangs and hoods who are illegals off the street. Those illegals caught up in the court systems get the first tickets out of hte country. Employers who knowingly employee illegals get hit hard with fines.

    We have not seen any of this. All we have heard is talk about a fence…..where is that now?

    It is pretty bad when the STATES are doing more to protect our borders and pass laws to deal with illegals coming into this country than our own Federal Government.

    Now we have Democrats in charge. How much diffrent will it be? They acted like they were in charge before anyways. Whther they say it or not, we are going to see them try and impeach the president (hell they were playing make believe impeachment in the basement before), they will try and force the president into a retreat…err, withdrawl…ummm….”redeployment”. (sorry, even Kerry can’t seem to tell the difference, calling it a withdrawl then suddenly mending his words by saying he meant redeployment).

    Pesonally, I am sick of this entire administration. This may sound bad, but as an American, I feel that the Red tape, the lawsuits, tieing the militarys hands in how they can or can’t engage the enemy, the empty words and promises on border security, ect

    It is a joke, and I am tired of the circus we call congress that are filled with not so funny clowns. They call it a civil war and quagmire in Iraq, but someone really needs to put that label on Congress.

    The FBI doesn’t make a move until consulting CAIR?!?! What the hell is wrong with this?

    6 Imams cause red flags to go off with how they are acting, and because of PASSENGER concerns, they are removed afer they imitate previous terrorists actions (requesting seat extensions when they were nto needed, spreading themselves out on the plain by the exits, ect) and now they have enlisted CAIR to help sue.

    Maybe I am a bit depressed in all this, but who wouldn’t be. This PC mentality is going to get us killed. This war would be over if we allowed the troops to fight without having to consult a lawyer first. We would be more secure if we had a Congress that actually cared about security and not about what makes them look good.

    I would love to see this in my Congress, our House, adn our President….THIS COUNTRY FIRST ABOVE ALL ELSE.

    Do not fly your flag over the AMERICAN flag in this country, it is an insult.

    Do not illegally cross our borders, use identity theft and fraud to get a job, shoot police officers, rape and murder, and expect to have a fair trial or be able to stay in the US. You should have your rears removed and banned from the US. The American Constitution and Bill of Rights were made for American Citizens, not to apply to every illegal that comes into this country.

    I am just tired of it all. It feels like our government is to busy infighting and worrying about what makes them look good or makes the other side look bad, and not what is best for this Country.

    What will it take to get representative that care about this Country?

    What will it take to have these representatives quit bad mouthing the US on foriegn soil, or undermining the president by going around him to talk to terrorist or terror supporting countries?

    Sorry to turn this into a rant ST, it didn’t start off that way, but just seemed to flow that way.

    Sorry to say, I have lost faith in my own government. Hell I would vote democrat if they would get the job done, but that isn’t going to happen, and the republicans are no better because they have no spine… what do we do?

    At this point, I feel it doesn’t matter which side is in charge, we are screwed either way…

  4. Severian says:

    An excellent and cogent post sanity, unfortunately I find myself in complete agreement with your thoughts. I honestly can’t think of anything to add, you nailed and eloquently stated some things that have been floating around in my mind for months now. I honestly think that as a society and culture we have gone completely insane, preferring to “amuse ourselves to death” to borrow a phrase from Roger Waters than to actually stand up, pull our collective heads out of our rears and face reality.

    This will be the end of our culture if we don’t reverse the trend soon.

  5. Big Bang Hunter says:

    – Me, I’m betting that the Demnurds are actually stupid enough to try this, and all they’ll get for their trouble, since there’s no way in hell they’ll get a majority on this, is to give the Reps a great big talking point for ’08. So much for the so-called elite.

    – Bang **==

  6. Glenn M. Cassel,AMH1(AW), USN, RET says:

    For Charlie Rangel: Cry Havoc and loose the dogs of WAR:x