Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Keep Up Pressure Against War Escalation Funding


War Escalation Funding Slated for This Week in House

It's still not clear how they'll try to do it, but it is clear that our pressure is being felt.

The House majority whip asked Democrats how they would vote on the war escalation funding alone and on it in combination with useful, sane legislation. It appears likely that more than 40 Democrats said they would vote No in either case. If so, that's an accomplishment to take into consideration and build on, even if the Democratic leadership manages to pass the war funding.

On Tuesday they brought unemployment insurance up for a vote in a stand alone bill on no notice. They did so in a way that required a two-thirds vote, and they fell short. But they can bring it up in a way that requires a simple majority and pass it. House Majority Leader Hoyer has it on the schedule as a possibility for Wednesday. They can bring everything up as stand-alone bills, and maybe they will.

But at least one congressional staffer claims that they can hold separate votes on two parts of one bill, the war escalation funding on the one hand, the disaster relief and other sensible things on the other, and pass the bill without ever voting on it in its entirety. Possibly what he means is that they can pass one part and then vote on the other as an amendment to the first. If they do this, and the Republicans play along, then the war escalation funding will likely pass with mostly Republican votes, and anything else will likely pass with mostly Democratic votes. We won't have won a vote for peace on the floor, but that was never terribly likely. They count heads before they move. Our most likely success was always what we're looking at: forcing them to separate the pig from the lipstick.

But how close can we come to voting down the pig in a clean vote? We won't know until we try. We've got more than 40 Democrats, but how many more? and how many Republicans? Will enough of them vote No, assuming easy passage, to actually put passage into doubt? Those who vote Yes with no lipstick and no excuses will be prime targets for voting out of office in November (yes, even if they're replaced with someone even worse, because you can't get much worse than this).

Back in April we held a forum to persuade Congressman Bill Delahunt to vote against war funding. Well, it and the endless pressure from his constituents, or something, finally worked, as today he announced: Delahunt To Oppose War Funding. Of course, it may turn out that Delahunt announced this upon learning that the war money would be passed in a clean vote with primarily Republican votes. In other words, this could be yet another case of voting No as soon as you've been assured that the Yes votes will prevail. If so, that would still be more than Delahunt would have done on his own. And now he's on record opposing any more war funding in this vote or future ones, as are a growing number of his colleagues who are not retiring (he is). And the leadership has been forced to continue Republican wars with Republican votes.

The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice if we push hard enough.

House GOP Leader John Boehner today said that we should raise the Social Security retirement age to 70 in order to pay for wars. I asked someone in Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office whether she disagreed with this beyond not liking to say it out loud. No comment.

Call your Representative through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-3121 and Email 21 key members with one click at Democrats.com GO here

Now's the time to get them on record opposing any more funding for these wars ever.

Report on your progress at http://defundwar.org or GO here


  1. Submitted by davidswanson on June 27, 2010 -


    End Vietghanistan This Week

    Little known secret: if the U.S. House of Representatives stops funding a war, or any other crime, neither the Senate nor the President nor the military can continue the killing. The Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey, can single-handedly block funding to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and currently he is doing so by refusing to advance it unless schools and jobs are funded. Call him every day to thank him and ask him to reject war escalation funding even if jobs and teachers are funded: (202) 225-3365.

    There are two ways this can go down, and one of them is likely to play out this week. Now is the moment, if you care about peace, to speak up for it, in public, in the media, in the local office of your congress member. Your House member. Stop thinking about senators and presidents for a minute. Your House member can be pressured to vote No, especially if you make clear that otherwise you will work to un-elect them (nobody else can be much worse than someone who keeps funding wars).

    Scenario One: With or without Senate agreement, the House passes everything (war escalation, schools, jobs) in one bill. Because the Republicans will all vote against such a bill, fewer than 40 Democrats can vote against the war they claim to oppose. This outcome can be resisted by pressuring Democrats to commit now to voting No, regardless of what lipstick is applied to the pig, regardless of whether they get a clean vote on the war escalation funding for show before voting on the package, and regardless of the inclusion of presidential-court-jester amendments requesting nonbinding "exit plans". Here's where they stand now: http://defundwar.org (looks good on paper). Ask them to join the Coalition Against War Spending: http://caws.us and call them through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-3121.

    Scenario Two: The House passes funding for war escalation and for useful projects in two or more stand-alone bills. This scenario would mean that more than 40 Democrats refused to vote for war even with lipstick applied. It would mean that pretending these unrelated matters had to be combined in one bill was for purposes of lipstick. And it would mean that the leadership of the Democratic Party is more closely aligned with Republican members of the House than Democrats when it comes to our biggest public program: war.

    Whichever of the above two scenarios plays out, the Senate will likely block the good stuff and pass the bad. This can be resisted by insisting to Obey that he get Senate passage first. If he does not get it, he will have to block the war bill, which is what he should do immediately and permanently regardless. Tell him: (202) 225-3365.

    Scenario Three: The madness ends here and now.

  2. See Reader-Sponsored News for this report:

    Petraeus warns it could be years before Afghan troops manage on their own

    Obama's July 2011 withdrawal date 'only start of the process'; general tells Senate tough fighting will continue

    The message of this article and many more similar items is that WE the American PEOPLE must show tenacity and courage if we plan to quit war and occupation...

    And of course we need to work together with and be supported by the peacemakers in every nation because they are essential to an end to this madness as well and often turn out to be our moral and creative leaders...

    Consistency and tenacity as well as discipline and fearlessness are often part and parcel the nature of NON-Americans...

    PLZ do ALL you can and don't give up...keep planting the seeds...