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Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru & 2010 AFP National Blogger of the Year]
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Today in Washington D. C. - Feb 27, 2008

On The Floor: Senate reconvened at 9:30 AM today. The Senate will resume consideration of the motion to proceed to the Reid-Feingold Iraq withdrawal bill (S. 2633). Votes are possible on the withdrawal bill or on cloture on the motion to proceed to Sen. Russ Feingold’s (D-WI) bill asking for a report on the strategy to defeat al Qaeda and limit troop deployments (S. 2634).

Yesterday, senators voted 70-24 to allow a debate on the Feingold Iraq troop withdrawal bill to proceed. The Senate also completed work on the American Indian health care bill (S. 1200), passing it by a vote of 83-10. Prior to passage, the Senate approved an amendment by Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) which banned the use of Indian Health Service funds for abortions, with the standard Hyde amendment exceptions.

In the House, Republicans lost a motion appealing a ruling that their attempt to attach the Senate-passed FISA bill was not germane. Republicans also tried to block consideration of a public housing bill and instead consider the Senate FISA bill, but lost that vote 212-198.

From Senate & News Sources: CQ Today writes, “Senate Republicans seized an opportunity [yesterday] to turn what was supposed to be a quick clash over Iraq War policy into a much longer debate over an issue they see as breaking their way.” When Sen. Harry Reid attempted to bring up the latest Democrat bill mandating troop withdrawals from Iraq, Politico reports, “Republicans used Reid’s move — and the unhappiness it caused among some in his party — to turn the tables on Democrats. Instead of blocking consideration of the troop withdrawal measure as expected, they called the Democrats’ bluff, voting to proceed to the bill and to devote as many as 30 hours of debate to it.”

Democrats had expected cloture on the motion to proceed to the Feingold bill to fail, and instead wanted to move on to the Democrats’ housing and mortgage proposals. Roll Call reports that Democrats were also grumbling about Reid’s decision to schedule a vote on the bill in the first place. After spending a year denouncing Republicans for opposing cloture on Democrat bills, Majority Whip Dick Durbin found himself in the awkward position of complaining about Republicans voting for cloture. Durbin “accused Republicans of ‘obstruction,’ even though the GOP had just voted to allow debate instead of blocking the Iraq bill,” notes Politico.

Senate GOP Leader McConnell explained the GOP move: “Since they’re [Democrats] the ones who want to turn back to the subject, we’d like to spend the time talking about the dramatic improvements in Iraq” over the last year thanks to the troop surge and Gen. David Petraeus’ counterinsurgency strategy. In light of the clear improved progress in Iraq, the Reid-Feingold bill looks divorced from reality. The Feingold proposal was written over 10 months ago, before all the surge troops were even in Iraq. Sen. McConnell summarized what the Feingold bill would “tear up the Petraeus Plan and cut off funds for the very troops who are carrying it out.”

National Review Online sharply criticized the Feigold bill today: “It would eviscerate our successful counterinsurgency campaign and squander all the progress we’ve made over the last year. . . . By enabling the return of al-Qaeda and stopping us from continuing to fight it effectively — while at the same time preventing us from enhancing the proficiency of our allies — Feingold-Reid would be a boon to our enemies. It’s the most shameful legislation in Congress since ... well, since the Democrats offered their last cutoff bill, in December.”

The Washington Times accused Senate Democrats of “living in a time warp,” adhering to “the pre-surge notion that the situation was hopeless when the facts say otherwise.” While Senate Democrats proposed yet another plan to declare defeat and withdraw from Iraq, House Democrats were busy blocking Republican attempts to get a vote on the crucial Senate-passed FISA modernization bill. Democrats voted down a Republican attempt to force a vote on the FISA bill as well as a later attempt to add that bill to another the House was working on.

The Hill reports": Democratic leaders dialed up their rhetoric, accusing the administration of whipping up the public’s fear to hide its own questionable conduct. "They think they did something wrong and they don’t want it disclosed," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD). "It has nothing to do with our nation’s security." ARRA Editor: Rep. Hoyer get your head out of where ever it is at! To say that FISA has nothing to do with national secutity shows your stupidity!

Tags: Indian Health Service funds, no abortions, federal housing, FISA, Iraq War, military troops, US Congress, US House, US Senate, Washington D.C. To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 11:01 AM - Post Link


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