On Iraq Funding: A Moment for Obama

Senator Barack Obama has run a campaign criticizing what he calls the Politics of the Moment all the while campaigning for his moments. Well, if this is true, an Obama Moment can emerge:

Despite their rhetoric about not wanting to hand President Bush another “blank check” for the Iraq War, Democrats appear poised to give him exactly that — enough cash to keep the war going full steam for as long as six months, no strings attached.

. . .Democrats are quietly preparing to give the president enough spending flexibility to keep the war going anyway. . . . Democrats began approving billions in extra funding, starting with the first stopgap spending resolution [I have no idea what Roll Call is talking about here. I kow of no additional funding measrues that have been passed since the Iraq Supplelemental that was passed prior to Petraeus's testimony. Frankly, I think Roll Call is wrong.] Next up will be the regular Defense spending bill, expected to go to conference committee Tuesday. Although the bill is not expected to include funding specifically targeted to Iraq, Democrats plan to allow much of the funding to be diverted from regular Defense accounts to the war. . . .

(Emphasis supplied.) The House can not pass such funding without the Senate. Senator Obama, just say no. Put a hold on such a bill. Lead a filibuster against it. This is your moment. Prove you are more than just pretty words.


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  1. That would mean Nancy LIED to Arianna!!!

    Is the parenthetical yours? I don’t want to write the “Nancy Lied!!!” essay based on a rumor….

  2. …is the continuing resolution (to be voted on mid-month) that allows the war to continue being funded at last fiscal year’s levels.

    You’re asking a lot of Obama. Put a hold on the entire defense bill? That would not only shut down the military-petroleum complex, it would actually mean no money for legitimate national security needs. No Democrat is going to put a hold on such a bill and wind up Dukakised in the general election (or before). Obama (and other Democrats) could, however, attach language to the defense spending bill that does NOT allow money for Iraq to go for anything but withdrawal.

    I doubt Obama will do that either. Even the most leftward Dems are apparently waiting for the supplemental debate in January before raising such language.

    • Edger on November 5, 2007 at 23:41

    the House overwhelmingly passed HR 1585, the FY 2008 National Defense Authorization Act. It calls for $506.8 billion for DOD plus $141.8 billion (of the $150.5 billion White House request) for ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan operations. The Senate followed with a similar bill on October 1 with only three opposing votes against it. Neither bill proposed an Iraq withdrawal timeline, and final legislation has yet to be sent to the president.

    The Defense Department’s new Iraq war funding request proposes upgrading the B-2 stealth bomber to carry the military’s largest satellite-guided bomb capable of penetrating deeply buried bunkers.

    The Pentagon’s proposal is one sentence in the measure seeking $45.9 billion more for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that President Bush gave to Congress Monday. The extra money would be on top of $150.5 billion in previously requested war spending.

    • Edger on November 6, 2007 at 02:23

    The Nation, Friday, September 28/07:

    The Senate agreed on Thursday to increase the federal debt limit by $850 billion — from $8.965 trillion to $9.815 trillion — and then proceeded to approve a stop-gap spending bill that gives the Bush White House at least $9 billion in new funding for its war in Iraq.

    Additionally, the administration has been given emergency authority to tap further into a $70 billion “bridge fund” to provide new infusions of money for the occupation while the Congress works on appropriations bills for the Department of Defense and other agencies.

    Translation: Under the guise of a stop-gap spending bill that is simply supposed to keep the government running until a long-delayed appropriations process is completed — probably in November — the Congress has just approved a massive increase in war funding.

    The move was backed by every senator who cast a vote, save one.

    Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold, the maverick Democrat who has led the fight to end the war and bring U.S. troops home from Iraq, was on the losing end of the 94-1 vote. (The five senators who did not vote, all presidential candidates who are more involved in campaigning than governing, were Democrats Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and Joe Biden and Republicans John McCain and Sam Brownback.)

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