Levellers

Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Iraq War Funding: How They Voted

Well, as expected, the “compromise” (i.e., blank check) bill funding the Iraq war through September passed both the House and the Senate.  In the House, the vote was 280 for and 142 against with 11 abstaining or not voting for other reasons.  140 Democrats voted against this bill (including, surprisingly, Speaker Pelosi (D-CA); surprisingly, because just the previous day she seemed to indicate she would go along with this “compromise”). The 2 Republicans who voted against this debacle were Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) and Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX), a Libertarian-leaning longshot presidential candidate–the only Republican presidential candidate to oppose this war.  I am proud to say that my freshman Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) voted against the bill, as, of course, did Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH), longshot presidential candidate who is a near pacifist and proposes a U.S. Department of Peace.  But that leaves 86 Democrats in the House who sided with the Republicans in supporting the continued funding of the war, including Rep. Ben Chandler (D-KY), all of whom are up for election in ’08.  Peace groups and progressive caucuses are already making plans to field primary challenges to every one of those traitors.

In the Senate, the vote was 80 in favor, 14 opposed, and 6 not voting.  Of the U.S. Democratic Presidential candidates in the Senate, Senators Barack Obama (D-IL), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), and Christopher Dodd (D-CT) voted noSenator Joseph Biden (D-DE) voted to keep funding the war–and this ought to end his campaign immediately, and lead to a challenge for his senate seat.  John Edwards (D-NC) is no longer a serving senator, and Bill Richardson (D-NM) is governor of New Mexico, so they could not vote on the measure, but both spoke out strongly against it.  Edwards is organizing peace protests this weekend (politically risky on Memorial Day, the U.S. holiday which honors those who died in military service) with signs saying to support the troops by bringing them home.  Richardson is continuing a petition drive to convince Congress to rescind authorization of the war.

If you are a U.S. citizen, find out how your Representative voted here and how your senators voted here.  Then, let them know how you feel about that.  It’s long past time that these yahoos remember that they work for us–and we can bring their tenure to an end!

UPDATE:  Of the 80 senators who voted for this monstrosity, here are the ones up for re-election in ’08:

Alabama: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL).

Alaska: Sen. Ted Stevens (R-AK).

Arizona: Both Republican senators voted for the war funding. Neither is up for re-election in ’08, but Sen. McCain (R-AZ) is running for U.S. president as the most hawkish of a very hawkish GOP lineup. He should be denied the presidency and turned out of the Senate when he is up for re-election in ’10. Politicians count on citizens having short memories–prove them wrong.

Arkansas: Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR).

Colorado: Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) is retiring in ’08.  As Daniel Schweissing remarked in the comments section, Rep. Mark Udall (D-CO), a usually progressive Rep. is campaigning to replace Allard in ’08, but voted for this war funding.  Colorado voters should express their displeasure with Udall and, if he continues down this path, mount a pro-peace challenger for the Democratic primary.  This will be an open seat, so there is no reason to give it to a “lesser of evils.”

Delaware: Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE). Should lose both his presidential bid and his re-election to the senate.

Georgia: Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA).

Idaho: Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID)

Illinois: Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL)

Iowa: Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA).  This is sad since Harkin is one of the best friends that Labor and the poor have in the U.S. Senate.

Kansas: Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS).  Presidential hopeful Sen. Sam Brownback (D-KS) is not up for senate re-election until ’10, but he wisely refrained from voting.  This keeps him from alienating his base by voting against the war, but, he cynically hopes, will allow him to appeal to enough independents to win in a general election.  I don’t think so.

Kentucky: Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), the Senate Minority Leader who kept Democrats from winning enough Republican support for an earlier version of this bill, with a timetable for withdrawal, to override a presidential veto.  It’s long past time to “Ditch Mitch.”

Louisiana: Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA). Her terrible handling of the Katrina aftermath was probably already going to lead to a primary challenge. This should ensure one.

Maine: Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).

Michigan: Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) has been a longtime opponent of this war, but he caved to vote for this–influenced by the GOP talking point of “not depriving money needed by the troops.”

Minnesota: Sen. Norm Coleman (R-MN), already facing a strong chance of being defeated in ’08, abstained from voting on this bill.

Mississippi: Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)

Montana: Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)

Nebraska: Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NB)

New Hampshire: Sen. John Sununu (R-NH)

New Jersey: Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ)

New Mexico: Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM)

North Carolina: Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC).

Ohio: Both senators voted for this and neither is up for reelection in ’08, but Ohio voters should really give an earful to freshman Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), who was specifically elected on an anti-war ticket!

Oklahoma: Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK).  Voters should should send thank-yous to Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), one of only 3 Republican Senators to vote against this terrible bill, even though he is not up for re-election until ’10.

Oregon: Sen. Gordon Smith (R-OR).

Rhode Island: Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI).

South Carolina: Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC).

Tennessee: Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Texas: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)

Virginia: Sen. John Warner (R-VA). Virginia voters should also send angry messages to freshman Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) who was elected to end the war, not to continue funding it.

West Virginia: Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).

Tomorrow, back to some theological reflection.

May 25, 2007 - Posted by | Iraq

11 Comments

  1. Thanks very much for keeping us up to speed on this vote, Michael. Republocrats abound, apparently. I was stunned to see that my recently-elected Democrat (sic) Congressperson, Chris Carny, who ran an end-the-war campaign, voted “aye”.

    Comment by Kerry | May 25, 2007

  2. A most disappoing vote. Both of my senators from CO (one very conservative R and one conservative D) both voted for. More disappointing, my congressional rep Mark Udall (D)–who voted against authorization of the war in 2002–voted in favor of this is well. Udall is running for Senate to replace outgoing Wayne Allard(R) in 2008. I will contact his campaign and let him know that we want a progressive democrat to replace Allard not a closet republican.

    Comment by haitianministries | May 25, 2007

  3. I Agree… Meanwhile Consider The Following:

    Our Only Choice!!! Leadership 2008

    Can Ron Paul Win? On The Issues

    A Resounding YES!

    Knowing this let us then look at the most important benefit… that Ron Paul brings to the Presidency

    “Leadership”

    Leadership is Action Through *Example Not Position…

    (It is not a position of power nor being in the right place at the right time, neither define leadership.

    It is defined by setting the example through taking action on such Leadership Traits as Truthfulness! Honesty! Fidelity! )
    Ron Paul Has Acted Admirably On All These Leadership Traits:

    “Truthfulness” first and foremost… Then: Principle, Integrity, Honesty,* Fidelity (to their oaths), Honor, Virtue, Compassion, Courage, Vision, Wisdom and Faith.

    DARE TO COMPARE

    Can anyone bring forth any other candidate (GOP or DEM, etc.) that can lay claim to all of these characteristics?

    I believe we are all hard pressed to do so… “Strike That”. I KNOW we ARE hard pressed!

    http://leadership2008.bravehost.com

    Get the word out “SHARE” with your friends…

    Comment by Joel Lemieux | May 25, 2007

  4. Well, Joel, I hate Libertarianism with a passion, so there is no way I could EVER vote for Ron Paul. I do, however, admire his courage on Iraq–swimming upstream against his party.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 25, 2007

  5. One of our NC senators seems to have gotten the point. Republican Senator Burr voted against the bill. Republican Senator Dole continues to support her party’s President.

    Comment by Mike Broadway | May 25, 2007

  6. Daniel, I don’t think Mark Udall is a closet Republican. I think many of the Dems who voted for this were bribed and extorted to it–they tied an increase in the minimum wage to this bill, for instance, to get it past Bush’s veto, and Katrina reconstruction money, and money to improve veterans’ care.

    But I would still contact Udall and tell him in no uncertain terms just how angry you are and how, if he wants to run for the senate without a Democratic challenger, he had better make ending the war a top priority. This is not the end of the fight, only a setback.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 25, 2007

  7. Mike, you should contact Sen. Burr and thank him for being one of only 2 Republicans who voted against this bill in the senate. (The other was Sen. Coburn (R-OK).) Sen. Elizabeth Dole (R-NC) is up for re-election in ’08. I hope the Dems recruit a strong challenger for her. Like Jim Webb(D-VA) in Virginia who ousted Republican Allen (R-VA) or Bob Casey, Jr. (D-PA) in Pennsylvania who ousted Rick Santorum (R-PA), a winning candidate would probably have to be strong on ending the war, progressive on economic issues, but conservative on some social issues, such as abortion (in Casey’s case) or gun control (in Webb’s case)in order to win in the South. Be thinking of someone like that whom you might recruit to run against Dole. While you’re at it, if Rep. Heath Shuler (D-NC) is in your district, contact him and tell him he was elected to end the war, not continue funding for it.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 25, 2007

  8. Thanks for the info Michael. I was poking around the web looking for specifics on the voting and your blog feed popped into my RSS reader just in time to save me from hunting.

    I agree that anyone voting for this funding is off limits for re-election or a presidential run.

    Comment by Progression of Faith | May 25, 2007

  9. Thanks for the info.

    It seems my Rep, Chet Edwards, caved in to the conservative Texas atmosphere. I noticed John Lewis did not vote. When I worked for him, he never missed a vote – especially when the vote dealt with war and military funding. I hope he’s not sick.

    Comment by Big Daddy Weave | May 25, 2007

  10. I noticed that about Lewis, too, Aaron. Since he is one of my heroes, I hate to think he abstained in order to fence sit. But it looks that way. I’d like to find out his reason for missing such an important vote.

    Comment by Michael Westmoreland-White | May 25, 2007

  11. Michael – you’re a model for us all of responsible social involvement!

    I’ve called and written emails today to all my representatives, the president, the democratic candidates etc… at your inspiration.

    Comment by Aric Clark | May 25, 2007


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