Friday, July 2, 2010

Will US Congress Support War's Status Quo? "Strongest Signal to Date"?

This "version" of the recent US House vote is another somewhat more reassuring report than David Swanson's. Perhaps, together they offer both disappointment and frustration with the result as well as strong reasons to carry on with actions for peace. Connie

It was “the strongest signal to date” that members of Congress won’t support the status quo in Afghanistan. And it happened because of you.

Last night, thanks to (many) phone calls and emails and visits to their offices, 162 representatives voted for the McGovern-Obey amendment to require a timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan. That’s the highest number of representatives ever on record supporting an end to the war in Afghanistan, significantly more than the 138 that supported an exit strategy last year.

Even Speaker Pelosi, the most powerful Democrat in the House, voted to pressure the Obama administration to change course. Click here to see how your representative voted, and send a thank you or a note about your disappointment.

On the $33 billion war funding, 100 representatives voted to only allow military spending to fund a safe and orderly withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan in an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee. Last year, only 60 representatives opposed the funding because of their opposition to the military strategy. The opposition is growing, and with your help, it will only get stronger. Keep the momentum going by writing to your representative.

While the amendments didn’t pass, they sent a strong signal—especially given that many Democrats have so far been reluctant to contradict President Obama’s strategy. As Rep. Jim McGovern said, “We need to let this administration know that we want a way out.” With many powerful Democrats now on record pushing for an end, that message is being heard. The more action we see from Congress, the more politically difficult it will be to continue the war with no end in sight. These votes mark an important milestone, and a motivation to redouble our efforts for bigger victories in the future.

Thank you for helping us create change.

Rebecca Griffin
Political Director
Peace Action West

[1] here

McGovern-Obey amendment to set an end date for war in Afghanistan
Fifth Portion of the Divided Question [Amendment
07/01/2010 --
This amendment, offered by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and David Obey (D-WI) would have required the president to set a timeline for withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, increased oversight of private contractors, and triggered another congressional vote in 2011 if President Obama did not follow through with plans to begin withdrawal in July of 2011. This vote represents the highest number of representatives who have gone on record to date supporting a clear end date for the war in Afghanistan.

Bill Number: H.R.4899

US House Roll Call No. 433
111th Congress, 2nd Session
Votes For: 162
Votes Against: 260
Not Voting: 11

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