Senate Joins House in Setting Troop Withdrawal Date from Iraq War Disgrace

This is from the New York Times in its entirety. Such Congressional resistance of presidential warmaking power has not been seen since the Vietnam War. It is overdue but should be construed as progressive if it would reduce the violence and the mass killings perpetrated by American armed forces in country.

While this blog does not emphasise keeping up with the headlines, it is intended to be a source and a record of events that advance its mission that is listed under the blog name at the top.

Illinois Democratic Senator Barack H. Obama was one of fifty-one senators to vote for additional monetary authorisation of the war but with withdrawal of American imperialist forces to commence four months after passage and finalised with a March 31, 2008 goal for completing combat operations. The House of Representatives has a drop dead date of August 31, 2008 and is more direct and demanding in its implementation.

I must add that Senators Chuck Hagel, Republican of Nebraska and Senator Gordon Smith, Republican of Oregon, courageously voted with the Democrats to end the war. Why did not Senator Mike Enzi, Republican of Wyoming vote? I know Senator Tim Johnson, Democrat of South Dakota, is gravely ill with a stroke or brain disorder but what is Senator Enzi’s excuse? Vile, disgraceful and frankly immoral warmongers such as Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, “Independent Democrat” of Connecticut, continue to pursue their crusade against Islam and their maniacal support of Israeli aggression against the “Arab Nation.”
March 29, 2007
Senate Passes War-Spending Bill With Iraq Deadline
WASHINGTON, March 29 — Issuing a stinging challenge to President Bush, the Senate approved a spending measure today that provides more than $96 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan but calls for troop withdrawals from Iraq to begin within 120 days and sets a goal of removing most armed forces within a year.

Democrats, preparing for a bruising veto fight, immediately sought to paint the president as obstinate in the face of broad public sentiment against the Iraq war and said he would be the one abandoning American forces should he reject a final bill that lawmakers expect to produce in a few weeks.

“If the president vetoes this bill, it is an asterisk in history,” said Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the majority leader, following the 51-to-47 vote. “He sets the record for undermining the troops more than any president we have ever had.”

But Mr. Bush was not wavering as he stood on the North Portico of the White House, flanked by Republican House leaders, and delivered his veto threat one more time.

“We stand united in saying loud and clear that when we’ve got a troop in harm’s way, we expect that troop to be fully funded,” he said. “And we’ve got commanders making tough decisions on the ground, we expect there to be no strings on our commanders; and that we expect the Congress to be wise about how they spend the people’s money.”

Two Republicans, Senators Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Gordon H. Smith of Oregon, joined 49 Democrats in backing the measure, which totaled $123 billion when additional money for Gulf Coast hurricane relief, agricultural assistance and other domestic projects was added in.

Mr. Reid promised that negotiators would quickly begin to reconcile the new Senate measure with a version narrowly passed by the House last week. A key difference is that the Senate bill sets a nonbinding goal for withdrawing troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008, while the House version demands that they be out by September 2008.

The Democrats are aiming to have a bill ready to be approved and sent to the president soon after the House returns from its spring break on April 16.

Mr. Bush has said the military needs the money by April 15 and the White House said today that the Pentagon had already begun to juggle accounts, shifting money from one program to another to buy more mine-resistant vehicles.

“This, again, underscores the need to get the show on the road, get the bill to the president, he will veto it, and then we’ll take it from there,” said Dana Perino, deputy White House spokesman.

Democrats contend the president is at fault in this instance as well, saying he took too long to send his initial request to Congress. They also dismissed Republican complaints of micro-managing military policy, saying that Congress is equal in constitutional authority to the executive branch and that they were forced to intercede because of Mr. Bush’s refusal to heed public demands for an end to American involvement in what many see as a civil war.

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