As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Antiwar Caucus United; Actual Filibusters To Come?

It's hard to separate the good legislation from the good words when it comes to Iraq, but the news that the Out Of Iraq Caucus is on board with the latest bill helps me make my decision.

Three leading House anti-war Democrats said they now back a $50 billion bill that funds the war but calls for most troops to come home by December 2008. Their support paves the way for the bill's passage Wednesday.

The trio, California Reps. Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters, represent a liberal anti-war caucus that last week expressed opposition to the measure on the grounds it was too soft and did not demand an end to combat.

The bill requires that President Bush initiate troop withdrawals within 30 days of its passage with the goal of bringing home most soldiers and Marines by Dec. 15, 2008 [...]

A provision added to the bill, to satisfy liberal caucus members, states that the primary purpose of the $50 billion included in the bill "should be to transition the mission" and redeploy troops in Iraq, "not to extend or prolong the war."

The measure is largely a symbolic jab at Bush, who has already begun withdrawing some troops but fiercely rejects the notion of setting a timetable for the war.

"While this bill is not perfect, it is the strongest Iraq bill to date," the Democratic trio wrote in a joint statement. "This is the first time that this Congress has put forth a bill that ties funding to the responsible redeployment of our troops, and it also includes language mandating a start date for the president to begin the redeployment of our brave men and women."

Versions of this legislation have passed over and over again, only to falter in the Senate. Again, Harry Reid is SOUNDING tough, saying that "the president won't get his $50 billion" if he rejects the bill, but the proof is in the action. And forcing a real-deal filibuster would be a good place to start.

Senate Democrats might force Republicans to wage a filibuster if the GOP wants to block the latest Iraq withdrawal bill, aides and senators said Tuesday.

That could set the stage for a dramatic end-of-the-year partisan showdown, which Democrats hope will help them turn voter frustration with Congress and the stalemate over Iraq into anger with the Republican Party.

Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (Ill.), the number two Democrat in the chamber, said a forced filibuster is “possible” and would “generate attention.”

“We want to go to the bill, and [Republicans] have to decide initially whether they want us to go to the bill,” Durbin said. “I wouldn’t call it theatrics.”

Everyone needs to know exactly who is holding up the end of this occupation and an overall shift in strategy. Huckleberry Graham can start reading the dictionary and Mitch McConnell can sing a capella, for all I care.

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