Dems look for new ways to stop Bush


Tired of waiting for an opportunity to try to stop the war in Iraq, some Democrats say they want to use legislation approving billions of dollars in war spending to insist that President Bush not send more troops.

Others want to use the spending measure to bring the troops home by a certain date.

“The longer we delay taking action, the greater the failure in Iraq and the larger the cost in American blood and treasure,” said Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who supports legislation that would cap the number of troops allowed in Iraq.

Sen. Barack Obama said he would push his legislation ordering troops out of Iraq by March 2008.

“This is not a symbolic vote,” Obama, D-Ill., said of his proposal, which is backed by two House Democrats. “This is what I think has the best chance of bringing our troops home.”

Sen. John Kerry, who drafted a similar proposal, said Congress’ actions will be watched carefully by voters headed to the polls in 2008.

“If the Congress is going to procrastinate, if they refuse to debate the most important issue of our time … then that is going to be clear issue in the context of ’08,” said Kerry, D-Mass.

Demands for a tough vote on Iraq come as the House plans a vote next week on a nonbinding measure opposing Bush’s Iraq troop buildup. A debate on an Iraq resolution stalled this week in the Senate.

The precise nature of the nonbinding House measure remains to be determined, officials said Tuesday, although Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said it would focus on opposing the buildup.

The Pentagon is in the midst of implementing Bush’s order to raise troop levels by 21,500, part of a plan to help quell sectarian violence in Baghdad.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates told a Senate panel Tuesday that U.S. forces might be able to start leaving Iraq before the end of the year, if daunting conditions including subdued violence and political reconciliation are met.

Gates told lawmakers the current buildup of forces is “not the last chance” to succeed in Iraq and conceded that he’s considering what steps to take if it doesn’t work.

“I would be irresponsible if I weren’t thinking about what the alternatives might be,” Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee. He was expected to testify Wednesday before the House Armed Services Committee.

Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate have pledged to their rank-and-file that a vote on a nonbinding resolution opposing the troop buildup would merely be the first attempt to pressure Bush to shift course in the war. Other legislation will be binding, they said.

Under House rules, Democratic leaders have the authority to advance a measure to the floor for three days of debate and a vote.

That stands in contrast to the Senate, where Republicans have so far blocked an attempt by Democrats to hold a full-fledged debate on a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., told reporters he hoped the measure in the House would attract Republican support.

Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, his party’s House leader, said in an interview that he hoped the GOP would be permitted to seek a vote on an alternative. If so, he said it would call for a bipartisan committee to oversee the war effort, and lay out a series of benchmarks by which people could judge whether the Iraqi government was living up to its commitments to help quell the violence.

“If you’re not for victory in Iraq, you’re for failure,” Boehner said. “The consequences of failure are immense. I think it destabilizes the entire Middle East, encourages Iran and on top of that it’s pretty clear that the terrorists will just follow us home.”

Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. skyguy

    ‘Lap dog’ Boehner’s comment “If you’re not for victory in Irag, you’re for failure” is blatantly and patently irresponsible. But hey, it’s the only mantra THEY can come up with to somehow justify our illegal incursions into two foreign and sovereign nations [so far, with a third foray waiting in the wings.]

    “The fix is in”, boys and girls. We ARE gonna bomb the Hell out of Iran – right after the Israeli’s light the fuse for us.

    Ahhhhhh, ain’t saving Israel’s ass as we ‘goose step’ towards Globalization great!? Hope we can get the T-shirts.

  2. Phil

    Was there any mention of how many tens of thousands will be killed and maimed between now and ’08?

  3. David Rosenberg

    Gee, it is so nice that Gates might start thinking ahead for alternate plans if this next step fails. Is he insane? What could possibly be next? Maybe, we could remove all our troops, drop a few Nbombs on Iraq and start all over again.

    republicans will never debate Iraq. The only way they might if a clause is put in, not to leave, regardless.

    There is only one way to stop bush, Impeach his ass along with cheney and save our own country. After six years of bush never compromising and after four years of never changing his feeble mind on Iraq, it is time Dems face reality. To stop bush is to kick him out of office.

  4. ron kay

    philibuster something……and all they have to do is keep saying over and over….

    ………..where’s Osama ?!?!?

  5. SEAL

    Boehner said: and on top of that it’s pretty clear that the terrorists will just follow us home.”

    Of all the fear tactic crap these clowns preach that is the the most obvious bullshit they continue to tack on to every statement. The ONLY reason the “terrorists” have ever attacked us is because we are there. The only way to end the terrorist threat is for us to leave. If we go away and leave them alone they will forget about us. Terrorism is all about fighting foreign presence in their lands. That is the ONLY reason. Anyone who knows anything about the Middle East, the people, and the religion there, knows that. They just want everyone to go away and leave them alone.

    Every time one of those jerks makes the statement that they will follow us home or that we fight them there so we don’t have to fight them here, he/she knows damn well it’s a lie. If we had not been there, there would never have been an attack of any kind. I know that is true. I spent many years in that part of the world and every arab of every religion in every country that I talked to said that was what it was all about. There was no other reason.

  6. Ray

    For all the wasted lives and money, Bush could have drilled those oil deposits from his ranch in Crawford Texas with money to spare. But that would do nothing for the reduction of eaters agenda.