Pelosi - 'We won't cut off funding for Iraq'

  • CactusPat's picture
    CactusPat
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First it was "impeachment is off the table", now it's 'We won't cut off funding' for Iraq. This comes as Congressman Dennis Kucinich has been rallying votes to cut off funding for the war. The last time Rep. Kucinich rallied votes against something in this manner he got over one hundred members of the Democratic Caucus to vote against the Iraq war authorization back in '02. Oh Madame Speaker-designate! If you hadn't noticed you have an anti-war insurgency in your caucus....

Pelosi: 'We won't cut off funding' for Iraq - Congressional Democrats head for spring showdown on paying for war WASHINGTON - Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had a message Tuesday for voters who elected a Democratic Congress last month hoping it would force President Bush to bring U.S. troops home from Iraq. “We will not cut off funding for the troops,” Pelosi said. “Absolutely not,” she said. (more)

A reporter had asked Pelosi if the new Democratic-controlled Congress would vote to end the funding of the war if Democrats were unable to persuade President Bush to change his Iraq strategy. “Let me remove all doubt in anyone’s mind; as long as our troops are in harm’s way, Democrats will be there to support them, but… we will have oversight over that funding,” she said...

She spoke to reporters as she took a break from a briefing Democratic House members were getting from former Clinton administration official Richard Holbrooke and other foreign policy veterans.

“None of us want to fail; none of us want to see Iraq as a failure,” said incoming Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland.

A political risk for 2008?
Is there a danger that Pelosi and Hoyer will disappoint voters who’ve just elected the new Congress, expecting it would take steps to end the war?

Yes — there’s a big danger, said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D- Ohio and other Democrats who oppose the war.

Kucinich said the Democrats have only one way to end the war: vote against the $130 billion Iraq war supplemental spending bill that will be on the House floor in the spring.

“We vote it down,” Kucinich said, and Bush would be forced to end the war.

He indicated that he didn’t yet have the votes he’d need to defeat the spending bill, but “this is a work in progress.” The decision on the spending bill “absolutely is going to be the key vote,” Kucinich said.

Addressing the newly elected Democratic House members, he said, “If new members came in here on the expectation that they’re going to help end the war, and then they vote to appropriate $130 billion, they might find difficulty going back home and explaining that. You can’t simultaneously say you oppose the war and then vote to fund it.”

In a memo he passed out to Democratic members, Kucinich said, “The voters will not forget who let them down” if Congress chooses to keep funding the war.

Is it the Democrats' war too?
“This war is not only the president’s,” he said. “This war belongs to Congress as well, to Democrats and Republican alike….”

He predicted that “Democrats will be held accountable in the 2008 primaries…. The war will not go away as an issue. The Democratic base will make sure of it.”

Another anti-war Democrat, Rep. Jim McGovern, D- Mass., said “I think we have two years to dramatically shift our policy in Iraq. If things two years from now are exactly the same as now, I don’t think voters are going to be forgiving.”

Meanwhile one newly elected Democrat is looking for a way to avoid having to vote on cutting off the money. “We better find another way to get this done other than cutting off funds,” said Nancy Boyda, a newly elected Democratic congresswoman from Kansas. “When President Bush said, ‘we’re not going to leave,’ I think he’s going to find a great deal of resistance by the American people.’”

Newly-elected House member Tim Walz from Minnesota said, “In my district I wasn’t hearing (during the campaign) an overall cry that the troops have to out by midnight tomorrow.” Instead he said voters want to see some plan on how to succeed in stabilizing Iraq.

Both Boyda and Walz will be high on GOP target lists in 2008: they each represent districts that supported Bush in 2004 and that had elected Republican House members for at least 10 years prior to 2006.

Imposing conditions on spending
The war spending bill “is going to be the turning point for a new direction,” said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D- Ill., the architect of the Democrats’ takeover of the House this November.

He said the bill will impose conditions which Bush will be forced to accept if he wants the money, such as a commission to investigate funds unaccounted for or allegedly wasted in Iraq.

To voters who’d be disappointed because they thought the new Congress would bring the troops home from Iraq, Emanuel gave a tentative answer: “From now on we are beginning to figure those questions out in the proper way.”

Meanwhile some Congressional Democrats expressed minimal expectations for the report which will be issued Wednesday morning by a panel headed by James Baker and Lee Hamilton.

Said an exasperated McGovern: “I’m hearing the Baker-Hamilton report is going to call for more benchmarks and more training of Iraqi soldiers. Well, what the hell have we been doing for the last several years?”

Walz said, “I’m hearing now, ‘was there a compromise in the (Baker-Hamilton) commission for political reasons’? There should have been no compromise for politics; there should have been ‘what is the best plan to solve this?’ My fear is if the pullback of troops was either delayed or sped up based on politics, that that’s dangerous.”

He added, “I feared that that the Baker group would create this unreasonable expectation” that it would devise some solution no one had envisioned before. “How many great thinkers have been thinking about this for four years? And there’s no real good solution.”

While it might be better politically for the Democrats’ chances in the 2008 election if Iraq remains a continuing burden on Bush and the Republican, Kucinich’s argument is that voters will hold the Democratic congressional majority responsible for Iraq.

Attempts to shift blame?
But Democratic pollster Jeremy Rosner took the opposing view on responsibility for the war.

“Despite the war’s initial bipartisan authorization, Iraq belongs to George Bush,” Rosner wrote in a memo last week.

He was on the alert for any of what he saw as blame-shifting: “Democrats will still need to take care not to give Bush and his team any easy pretext for shifting responsibility for the outcome in Iraq.”

And Rosner warned against exactly the course Kucinich wants to take: Democrats, he said, “need to avoid pushing for funding cut-offs that could be cast as undermining the troops (and which would in any event merely be veto bait).”

For now, Pelosi is listening to Rosner and not Kucinich. And 2008 may determine who was right.

By Tom Curry
National affairs writer
MSNBC
Updated: 5:12 p.m. ET Dec 5, 2006
hat tip to NBC's Curry for exposure of this angle of the ongoing debate. If you didn't catch Dennis Kucinich speaking out against further war funding on the Hosue floor the other day, check here...

And just yesterday we had this from 'Out of Iraq' House Caucus Co-Founder Barbara Lee on Amy Goodman's DemocracyNow -

AMY GOODMAN: Congressmember Lee, your response to, well, the party leader in the House, the first woman Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, saying that calling for troops out now is -- and the funding, this cutting off of funding of what is going on in Iraq now, the Iraq war, is off the table?

REP. BARBARA LEE: Well, let me say, we will be faced with another supplemental during the early part of the year. I have never voted for any of these funds for this war. First of all, we support our troops, and we want our troops home. You do not support your troops by continuing to put them in harm's way, by continuing to place them in the midst of a civil war and an occupation that is killing them each and every day. And so, I will not be supporting the supplemental.

I believe that we have to stand up and support our troops, not the Halliburtons of the world. They’re stealing this money. When you look at the billions of dollars that have gone, these funds are not going to support our troops. We need to support our troops in a very real way, by bringing them home, getting them out of harm's way. We need to support our troops by providing for the veterans’ benefits that they deserve, by enhancing the quality of life when they return by making sure that mental health and healthcare services are here for them. I believe that we need to do this, and we need to do this quickly.

AMY GOODMAN: And what about Congressmember Pelosi, the Speaker of the House to be, saying that cutting off funding is off the table?

REP. BARBARA LEE: Well, let me just say, I believe that we should not support this supplemental. Everyone has their points of views on how we end this occupation and civil war in Iraq. I do not support the supplemental, but I have not supported it since I have been here, nor have I supported a $400 billion-plus military budget.

When you look at this military budget, we have identified -- Congresswoman Woolsey and myself have identified $60 billion that could be cut: the development of Cold War era weapons systems. We have our Common Sense Budget Act. So there are some of us who believe that the military budget is no more about national security and a strong national defense, but it’s about funding military contractors and the military construction industry. So I believe that we need to begin to not only not support the war and end this occupation, but we also provide for reconstruction and redevelopment and humanitarian assistance for the Iraqis, but we need to support our troops by bringing them home.

WOW! Not only cut off the funding for Smirk's Misadventure, but also cut the Pentagon's budget. Now that's callin' it like you see it! CUT IT NOW!.... watch, listen, or read the transcript here.

Comments

A suggestion

  • Pippilin's picture
    Pippilin
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So James Baker and friends want to continue the carnage in Iraq until 2008. Nancy Pelosi " absolutely " will not try to stop funding for the above. And Nancy Pelosi won't dream of impeaching George W. Bush and Richard Cheney, the top sources of that carnage. Charles Rangel talks about reinstating the draft.
With stubborn or stupid or spineless officials still in Washington, perhaps this suggestion would get our troops home and us out of the war more quickly:
Mutiny. Conscientious objection. Simple refusal to fight. Troops boycotting the war. Why not? I'm certain that many of our fighting men would rather be sitting in the brig than be sitting ducks in the blood red streets of Irag.

True but

  • Haruka's picture
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Those soldiers will aslo have to think about what will happpen to those to DON'T refuse to fight. Do you think that they will happy sitting safe in the brig while their friends and family are outside fighting and dieing? I don't. They might want to boycott the war, but they probably won't if they know that it could get people who they care for killed. That is probably the main reason most soldiers don't just give up, not to protect themselves, but to protect others.

Welcome back, Haruka.

  • kwahlf's picture
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I fully agree with your post above.
It's great to have you back.

;-)

Thanks

  • Haruka's picture
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It's good to be back, Kwahlf. I hope to be more active here now that things have settled down for me.

I find this train of thought rather troubling...

This endless slamming of Nancy Pelosi and the Dems prior to their taking control on Jan 3rd when they are sworn in.

Both a blogger and a member in this thread are telling us exactly what Nancy will do and not do.

Why all the advance bad-mouthing? Why not give our leadership a bit of time to get their offices cleaned and operational...a bit of time to work together in the new format?

Neither blogger nor member have any idea of what is churning around in Nancy's mind. For me, I find both of their opinions badly flawed.

Until Jan 3rd, the ball is still in the oppositions court.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

I agree

  • Haruka's picture
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I agree with you Grinch. I think that the reason Pelosi doesn't want to cut off funding to the troops is because she knows that it's more likely that the BA will leave them there to die, then it is for them to bring them home if that happens. If that did happen then I imagine she would feel some, if not a LOT of, guilt over the troops that died becuase they didn't have funding for the equipment and services needed to keep them alive.

I'm sick of the Pelosi-Dem slamming too,

  • kwahlf's picture
    kwahlf
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Grinch and Haruka.

They haven't even taken office yet!

And here are the cynics nipping at their heels.

But instant gratification is

  • Bill Harding's picture
    Bill Harding
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But instant gratification is so, well -- instant!

Is anyone else noticing the not-so-subtle pushing...

for the Keebler Elf for pronouncements that he is making now...but could just as well have made several years ago?

Same thing happening over at DU and some other sites.

The elf has much to say...once in a while...but nothing ever comes of it.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

Me, three

  • Chip's picture
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I can't say that I like what Speaker Pelosi is putting off the table - but I do agree that we ought to let her take office and get going before critiquing. A lot of this is spin from the far right, who are drooling to take shots at her.

Y'know Chip, this is what they(gop)did to Clinton...

both during his campaign and before he could take office. They continued for 8 long years with constant attacks...and broadened their attacks to include Hillary and in one or two cases...even picked on Chelsea and the family pets.

As an MO, we are used to what they do. What some of us would like to do to THEM is of course illegal.

This time however, their drumbeats are being sounded on drums with split heads. They are muffled and confused. I suppose it is the result of most of them attempting to avoid prison on one charge or another.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

I agree

  • RDillon's picture
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With Karin, Haruka, and Grinch. Lets let them get their furniture moved in, their curtains hung, and their first day of work in the majority behind them before we start dispelling them from the party. Although I am completely against the Iraq War, I have serious reservations about just cutting off funding. We all know our criminal-in-chief, if funds were cut off would still make our troops stay over there without funding just to score political points on the Democratic Congress saying they left our troops hanging. He has already said he won't follow any plan that included "defeat". (sighs). I honestly think the leadership is giving this Administration a chance to change their tune and work with other ideas. We all know they won't, but our leadership is at least extending a hand. To a certain extent thats what America voted for in Nov. was for our govt to work together so even though they know it won't do much good our leaders are trying to show, "hey, we tried to talk to that fool". I will be willing to bet if Bush's tune doesn't change soon, we will get our dogfight!!

Pardon me for aligning w/anti-war, pro-impeachment Democrats

  • CactusPat's picture
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This is what's called holding their feet to the fire. Just exactly how do you think one goes about that? By biding one's time? By remaining docile & quiet?

Hell no!!! You read them the riot act, daily if necessary. Just exactly what do you think Bob Fertik's doing leading this national impeachment movement? Is he sitting quietly waiting for the "leadership" to do the right thing?....

Bitch, moan, worry. NOT! We've had six (or twelve depending on how y'all look at it) years of bitchin', moaning and worrying (not to mention organizing and protesting). NOW is the time to stake positions. Occupy the policy turf and scream bloody, bloody murder..... 

CP ;>)

 

"I did not like fascists when I fought them as a diplomat for 23 years and I don't like them now in my own country." - retired American diplomat Joe Wilson

Yep, grinch, they are afraid

  • Chip's picture
    Chip
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The haze of ersatz patriotism is starting to clear, and they are nervously beginning to reconsider where the neocons have led them. They are understanding that the have been betrayed. The Republican mainstream also have such large ideological investments - ego investments, really - that the really are confused and uncertain what to do next.

She's a Democratic

  • okcitykid's picture
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She's a Democratic Republican. There are a few of them. But not to dispair.

Before the Veterans for Kerry group broke up, many of them decided to join the Republican party so that they too could be an enemy within.

Twice now, Nancy has abused her party and not obeyed the people who gave her that power. Someone should remind her that the time will come when she will be on ballet.

Kucinich for President - He's our man, the hero of our nation.

Kucinich, according to all reports, is against impeachment...

he also cannot win an election. Not a national election. You may wish to believe it ain't so; If so, I refer you to the Pasteur quote at the bottom of this post.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

Patience

  • RDillon's picture
    RDillon
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My friend. I don't think Speaker Pelosi is a turncoat. First on Impeachment, I will bet if Bush doesn't change his tune on a lot of these things that Ms. Pelosi will open investigations into the Iraq War lead-up which we all suspect will bring evidence of impeachable offenses. With hard evidence to present the American people AFTER trying to work in a bi-partisan way and failing, impeachment will appear on the table once more. As for cutting off funding, that SHOULD be off the table. Like it or not we have thousands of troops over there that need to eat, need ammunition to defend themselves, and need fuel for their transportation. How could our party live with itself if we just cut off the funding for all of that knowing full well our idiot Prez would not bring them home anyway? As I read a while ago in a post by Bill Harding we need to realize that although none of us voted for Bush, as Americans we did vote him into the Presidency. Sure his policies are idiocy but the ones who have paid the highest price for that idiocy are our troops and cutting off their funding would just make it worse. Much worse. Lets give our people time to get in office and start working. I think men like Jim Webb have shown their is little compromise in their tone. Please just remember, brick by brick my fellow citizens, brick by brick!!

http://www.ivaw.org/node/391

  • okcitykid's picture
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http://www.ivaw.org/node/391
"Quote:
In the time the Iraq Study Group spent developing their report, roughly 700 Americans and 27,000 Iraqis were killed in the increasing violence and chaos. What we need is an end to the occupation, not more inaction and stalling tactics from Washington. Unquote"

McGovern did considerable research and wrote a very informative article in Harpers asking that we begin redeployment by the 27th of December. Funds are already available for redeployment.

Why wait for January?

Yes he is our president, if he wasn't our president, we wouldn't impeach him. Makes sense to me, that's why we have impeachment procedures. If our fore fathers didn't think we would ever have to impeach one of our presidents, they wouldn't have included it in the constitution.

Now whether Bush actually became president by the people is yet another discussion.

Just because you lie, cheat and steal to obtain a position of power doesn't mean you get to keep it.

Listen, this is a war against time, the more time we take the more people die. The more time we take, the more income stock brokers, investors, oil companies, defense contractors make. Even state and federal government collect taxes on this overpriced fuel created from the Iraq conflict. So it would be in the best interest for a good amount of people to delay this for another day.

But I'm not making money on this war, so I'm not being patient.

In the founders day, impeachment really wasn't necessary...

What they did then was call someone out, meet in a glade at dawn, and one or the other would leave the scene of the duel with a gaping hole in his anatomy. No legal problems and very little fuss and muss.

They must have foreseen a time when a legal system, stuffed with lawyers for hire, would take forever to reach the identical conclusion.

Hmmm...they were simply more efficient in those days.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

I hear rumor otherwise -

  • okcitykid's picture
    okcitykid
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I hear rumor otherwise - your source.

Kucinich has already WON my vote, sorry he doesn't have yours.

Mr. Kucinich is putting forth the Department of Peace.

Really cool - you should check it out, maybe you will change your mind.

okcitykid, naw, I won't change my mind...and neither...

will the country. Dennis will pull the Greens and not much else.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

This Is Brain Dead Politics, Support The Troops

  • Dan Dent's picture
    Dan Dent
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We as Democrats need to remind Speaker Pelosi that supporting the troops in Iraq cannot be the mode of operation for us stabilzing the Middle
East. This is a bumper sticker slogan and we cannot allow our policy to be
nothing more than a political dichotomy
of supporting the troops in Iraq.
There is an opportunity to support the Reformers in Iran with money and possible military support if they ask us to topple the madman Ajmenijab of Iran.
We could re-deploy from Iraq to Iran
if the Reformers were beginning to challenge for power in Iran. This would be an ideal mission for the military of supporting a homegrown political movement with funds or military support.

You're a Neocon

  • okcitykid's picture
    okcitykid
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We don't need to go into Iran, don't even start that.

You want to go to Iran, first join the military and write your congressman.

Bring our troops home to protect the home land, Americans and the constitution, Not Iran, Iraq or Afghanastan.

Who are you accusing of being a neo-con?...

the message you are trying to get across would be clearer if you named the recipient in your post.

Just another of my vagrant thoughts.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

Not you grinch - the post up

  • okcitykid's picture
    okcitykid
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Not you grinch - the post up above mine.

The Neocons want us to police the world. They ofcourse want us to do it, they won't join the military and do it themselves. They are low lifes because they are like worms without any back done. You will know them as those who always tell us we need to go to war here, there and everywhere. When they say we, they mean us, not them.

Hell no, I won't go, send them who call for war to fight their own wars.

The only war a soldier should be called to fight is to protect his own homeland. Saudi wants us to go to Iran, let them send their own young men to fight.

ok kid...I wasn't worried about that for me...I frequently ...

play Devil's Advocate around these parts. LOL. But for the newbies who wander through, it helps if they can tie one post to another.

We are mostly Dems here. That means that we all have our own ideas and candidates and[fill in the blank]what have you.

This is one of our most redeeming features as a party. The fact that we almost never agree is healthy.

A mind once expanded can never return to its original dimensions.

Anne Hathaway: 1556-1623

The greatest derangement of the mind is to believe in something because one wishes it to be so.

Louis Pasteur

Many republicans joined the

  • okcitykid's picture
    okcitykid
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Many republicans joined the Democratic party and there was even a think tank created for the dems by the conservatives. A lot of my friends who were Veterans for Kerry decided to join the Republican party to do the same thing.

Just because someone says they are a Democrat or joins a democratic group does not mean that they are.

War in Iraq.

  • Munira's picture
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For the sake of humanity & peace, please cut off funding ,stop the war, stop the slavory, and stop more hatred for USA all over the world.