House Democrats Plan to Fund Iraq Occupation Into 2009

(10 am – promoted by ek hornbeck)

I suppose this isn’t a shock to anyone, but once again the House Democrats are ignoring their Constitutional power of the purse and are working on funding the Iraq occupation well into 2009. Led by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the House Democrats work on huge Iraq money bill according to a story in the San Francisco Chronicle.

House Democratic leaders are putting together the largest Iraq war spending bill yet, a measure that is expected to fund the war through the end of the Bush presidency and for nearly six months into the next president’s term.

Neither the Bush administration nor Congress has been forthright with Americans about the true costs of the Iraq invasion and occupation. Now, once again the House Democrats are betraying the voters who put them into power in 2006 as they maneuver to fund the Iraq occupation once again to a tune of $108 billion, plus $70 billion of “breathing room” funding for the next president.

The House Democrats know they’ve selling us out once again.

“It’s going to be a tough sell to convince people in my district that funding the war for six months into the new president’s term is the way to end the war,” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, a leader of the Out of Iraq Caucus who plans to oppose the funding. “It sounds like we are paying for something we don’t want.”

Not anymore. After 16 months of this, the House Democrats have convinced me that they actually want the war. Sure, I used to believe that the House Democrats would hold a strong budgetary line against funding the Iraq occupation and refocus our nation’s military’s mission on fighting al Qaeda in Afghanistan and the tribal border region with Pakistan, but not anymore. Now, according to the Chronicle getting funding for Iraq occupation is “shaping up as a key test for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.” Pelosi is planning to capitulate once again to Mr. Bush, but try to get him to blink on her domestic agenda.

Pelosi is plotting a “guns-for-butter” strategy to try to force Mr. Bush to accept some new domestic spending in exchange for the money he needs to fight the war. The speaker is floating a proposal to extend unemployment benefits for 13 weeks for those whose benefits have run out. The package also could include a new GI Bill benefit to help veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan pay for college.

Of course, the United States will be forced to borrow more money to pay for the occupation. Instead of forcing Mr. Bush to raise taxes to pay for his wars, Pelosi is willing to lead the country further into debt and weakening. A good way to provide for unemployment benefits and improved GI benefits would be to divert the money we’re wasting on the occupation of Iraq, redeploy the troops, and then funnel that money into funding the Democrat’s domestic agenda. Instead, she’s going to pull another “minimum wage hike” tactic while giving Mr. Bush what he wants for the Iraq occupation. Mr. Bush won’t even pay for the war fully through this spending bill. He has promised to veto any spending that goes over his demand for $108 billion dollars.

Some of the House Democrats do not agree with Pelosi’s “gun-for-butter” tactic. Along with Rep. Woolsey, Democratic Reps. Maxine Waters and Barbara Lee have asked the speaker to “keep the votes on war spending and domestic spending separate.” But, no word from the Speaker if she’ll keep the spending measures apart.

Pelosi’s line is to keep blaming Mr. Bush for not ending the war, when, in fact, she has the Constitutional power to cut the occupation’s funding. Pelosi insists:

“It didn’t happen because we had hoped that the president would listen to the will of the people and at least be willing to compromise on … how the war is conducted and some timetable for redeployment of our troops.”

The conservative Democrats in the House are afraid of looking weak if they cut the funding. But, by not standing up to Mr. Bush, the Democrats are proving themselves weaker than a lame duck president who is over 70% disapproval in public opinion polls. How many more American soldiers need to die in Iraq to make the Democrats seem strong?  

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  1. I guess I accidentally put the tags in the poll position too. Oh well… cross-posted at the Daily Obama.

    • jim p on April 29, 2008 at 6:51 am

    General Petraeus will be in charge. (Not to be confused with General Paulus. To date.)

  2. screwed!!

  3. (or is it Indonesians, Salvadorans, Vietnamese? Sorry, hard to keep them straight — we’ve killed so many), what’s a few more?

    Why so squeamish? If you can kill one person, you can kill ten. If you can kill ten, you can kill a hundred. It’s really quite easy once you get the hang of it. Here, take the gun; you try it. C’mon, it’s fun!

    Besides, the main thing is to keep the Democrats in office, right?

    I mean, they’ll vote against war funding once they have a majority. (What? They have a majority?)

    Well, they’d vote against something as dangerous as the PATRIOT Act, right? (They voted for it? Oh. Twice? Damn.)

    But they fought for health care for all Americans! (They didn’t? I though for sure . . .)

    They stopped military tribunals from holding trials. (They voted for the Military Commissions Act?)

    That Nancy Pelosi, she’s so spunky! She’s the first woman Speaker, you know. And that Harry Reid, he’s a fighter! They got us a living wage! (No?)

    Well, that’s enough talk! Eyes front, soldier!

    Let’s see what’s on TV. Is American Idol on tonight? What’s on the news? I see Nader is running again. Damn him! No wonder the Democrats can’t get a break!

    That’s the problem! It’s that damned Nader fellow!

    I remember the good old days, before this subversive third-party nonsense. The Clintons. Now there was a president we could be proud of. What? Sanctions? Killed a million civilians? Get away from me kid, ya bother me.

    Christ, reality bites.

  4. …Congress not withdrawing military funds in an election year was pretty predictable.  If an election is coming up, you can bet they will retract their spines like turtles pulling their heads inside their shells.

    BTW, I voted in your poll to see what would happen (nothing happened).  It seemed apropos of Congress’ behavior somehow.  

    • srkp23 on April 29, 2008 at 4:41 pm

    But Dems are so much better than Rs! (puke)

  5. How many more American soldiers need to die in Iraq to make the Democrats seem strong?  

    How horrible to have to ask that question.

    • creeper on April 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm

    to the Democratic Party since Joe Lieberman.

  6. Long AGO before the November 2006 elections I predicted the newly elected Democrats would vote for more war.

    You have to realize something. All the candidates are WAR MONGERS…they want more WAR….AMERICA IS A FASCIST NATION. It EXPORTS fascism and is currently selectively introducing Fascism domestically.

    These candidates…McCain, Obama and Clinton…promote fascism. Your representatives are ALL WHORES…who are owned by moneyed interests….

    Your “liberal” websites are really very conservative…your bloggers are conservatives who imagine they are liberal.

    Move On has not directly demanded in a consistent way immediate withdrawal from IRaq…they are actually a rather conservative organization…

    Air America’s Randi Rhodes and Al Franken have said…we should not pull out of Iraq until the Job is done.

    Juan Cole was not against the Invasion of Iraq.

    The only news program that presents the news in any kind of accurate way is Democracy Now! and it’s not well known.

    Many of you guys are conservative who imagine they are liveral.

    Americans are by and large Pro Fascist

    • Edger on April 29, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    He doesn’t even attempt to hide his psychotic desires for war and death.

    Pelosi has learned well how to smile as she kills.

    • ANKOSS on April 29, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    Over at DKos, they are still dreaming about how a 100% Democratic party government will find enough backbone to write a sternly worded letter to the President to ask for hearings on starting an investigation into . . .

  7. The Dem Congress failure to do what they were elected to do in 2006 — end the goddamn war — reminds us why it is not enough to hope there is a D in the White House on Jan. 20.

    We’ve got to raise enough hell that the pols are afraid not to do the right thing.  Somehow, we need to get the 70% of the people who say they oppose the war to get off their dead asses and do something.  Voting is obviously not enough.

    • Valtin on April 30, 2008 at 10:19 pm

    …well, to quote Tom Waits,

    “If you’re living on hope, you’re dancing to a terrible tune.”

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