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Tonight They Try to Escalate the War
The Rule to fund the escalation of war in Afghanistan passed 215 to 210. The Republicans voted No. Pelosi permitted some Democrats to vote No, but not too many, and not one spoke against the Rule during the debate.
Here's the roll call. These 38 Democrats voted No:
8:14 Chair Anthony Weiner gives David Obey the floor by asking "For what purpose does the gentleman from Wisconsin rise?" Obey respons "Sometimes I wonder." So do we, David. And if you want to retire early, don't let us hold you back.
8:03 It passes 215 to 210. War escalation funding passes. Pelosi lets some vote No, but not too many. And nobody was allowed to speak against it.
7:55 Looks like Nancy is letting an acceptable and insufficient number of Dems vote No, even though not one of them spoke against the Rule.
7:38 419 Members present. Now they vote for 15 minutes.
7:33 What the Clerk of the House says is happening:
H. Res. 1500: providing for consideration of the Senate amendments to the bill ( H.R. 4899) making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes
Call of the House Roll Call 427 - Quorum vote pending.
7:16 Here's how HuffingtonPost sees it:
HOUSE WAR VOTE TONIGHT - In five steps, the House will vote to approve war funding this evening without ever voting to approve war funding. The first vote will be on the rule that allows this to happen. The vote on the rule is the key vote for or against the war -- unless you're a House Republican, in which case you'll vote against it because it's a bunch of hocus pocus proposed by Democrats. Next will come a separate vote on a Dave Obey-sponsored amendment to add social spending -- for teachers, Pell grants, jobs, border security, oil clean-up, disaster relief and $13 billion for Vietnam Vets exposed to Agent Orange. Because of other cuts, Obey's amendment shaves $493 million off the deficit. Next will come three votes that will give us a window into where the House is when it comes to ending the war in Afghanistan, which is now 104 months old: Jim McGovern's to create a timeline for withdrawal, another to strike military spending from the bill altogether and a third, sponsored by Barbara Lee, to only allow funds to be used for an orderly withdrawal. If all four of those amendments fail, the bill dies. But a Democratic leadership aide tells HuffPost Hill that they have the votes they need to pass Obey's amendment, so this thing's going through. It won't get to Secretary Bob Gates by his Fourth of July deadine, but the military has money to get itself into August, say Democrats.
Meanwhile, the President has threatened to veto the bill over how the teachers are funded:
WASHINGTON -- The White House has promised to veto a House war funding bill over proposed cuts to education reform programs.
The move marks an unusually public clash with Obama's top Democratic allies in the House, who proposed cutting $800 million from programs such as the Education Department's showcase Race to the Top grant initiative. They want to use the money to help pay for a $15 billion plan to avoid teacher layoffs and pay for college grants.
Our only hope now is for Democrats to obey the President rather than siding with David Obey and vote against the teachers amendment -- very unlikely.
7:04 The votes on the Rule being recorded now. In 15 minutes we can consider the war escalation funded.
7:01 Democratic Rep Jim McGovern speaks against the war and in strong support of the Rule that will fund its escalation.
6:57 Republican Rep David Dreier says war is the one thing the federal government is good for.
6:55 Democratic Rep Jim McGovern now blaming the Republicans for voting against war funding in the past -- this from a congress member who claims to oppose the war.
6:53 Republican Rep John Culberson speaks in favor of the war and against the Rule that will fund its escalation.
6:50 Republican Rep Ron Paul speaks against the war and against the Rule that will fund its escalation.
6:48 Democratic Rep John Garamendi speaks against the war and in support of the Rule that will fund its escalation.
6:46 Democratic Rep Jim McGovern - who is about to vote for this Rule to fund the war - replies to Foxx: Bush did it too. So there.
6:45 Republican Rep Virginia Foxx objects to "emergency" supplementals.
6:42 Democratic Rep Maxine Waters supports the Rule because she supports Lee's amendment to defund the war. Think about that. She supports war funding because she plans to vote for a doomed amendment to stop the war funding, which if it passed would have to get past the Senate and the President. How stupid does she take us to be?
6:40 Republican Rep Glenn Thompson opposes the Rule.
6:39 Republican Rep John Culberson debating Jackson Lee on Texas education measure.
6:35 Shiela Jackson Lee supports the rule for the sake of having a debate and for the lipstick. What a racket! Every single Democrat is about to vote for a war escalation without calling it an escalation and without calling it a vote.
6:32 Republican Rep Tim Johnson speaking against the Rule and the war. Will a single Democrat join him?
6:28 Democratic Rep Dennis Kucinich speaking against war - very well. Will he speak against the Rule? No. Not one word against the Rule. What a scam. Not a single Democrat is going to vote in the only opportunity they have to block war escalation funding, because Pelosi chose to use a self-executing rule. Does that render all Democrats impotent? (Will Michaud and Kucinich vote against the rule but not speak against it?)
6:23 Republican Rep John Boehner objects to the self-executing rule.
6:19 Democratic Rep John Sarbanes supports the Rule which he both admits is for a "surge" and claims one cannot vote against because the troops are in the field, without objecting to a president who escalates a war before that escalation is funded.
6:16 Republican Rep Buck McKeon says that congress members and everyone else has a commander in chief to obey, and we must all obey, even members of the first branch of our government. He opposes the Rule, against which not a single Democrat has yet spoken.
6:13 Democratic Rep Jared Polis speaks against war and for good amendments and will clearly vote Yes on the Rule.
6:11 The best I can make out, there is not going to be a final vote. The vote on the Rule is the vote on the war funding. Chellie Pingree has been swearing she'll vote No and now will apparently vote Yes because it's a vote on a Rule.
6:08 Republican Rep Paul Ryan blathers on.
6:05 On cue, here's Rep Chellie Pingree to speak against the war. Will she speak against the rule? No, dammit, she supports the Rule. Shit. We need supposed antiwar members to take a stand. [UPDATE: Her staff complains to me that she did not explicitly say she supported the rule, and in fact she voted against it. But that was the implication, and swaying 5 colleagues to No votes would have stopped the war escalation funding. Here's the video.]
6:04 YEAH! Dreier urges colleagues to vote No on the Rule. If purportedly antiwar Dems vote No and Republicans vote No, the Rule goes down.
6:00 Republican Rep David Dreier given 30 mins to trumpet war, which he says he wishes the military would end but which Congress, as the servants of the White House simply must fund whenever asked.
5:53 Hoyer thanking and kissing up to Obey who is reportedly not happy about whatever it is that persuades him to betray every principle he's ever claimed to hold.
5:49 Hoyer blather about fiscal responsibility and PayGo, while pushing $33 billion in off-the-books borrowing and
spending dumping into a hole.
5:46 p.m. McGovern controls 1 hour of debate. He recognizes Steny Hoyer.
UPDATE 3: 5:40 p.m. Rep Jim McGovern just brought rule to floor. Clerk is reading it.
Providing for consideration of the Senate amendments to the bill (H.R. 4899) making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes.
1. Provides for the consideration of the Senate amendments to H.R. 4899.
2. Makes in order a motion by the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations to concur in the Senate amendment to the text with each of the five House amendments printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution.
3. Waives all points of order against consideration of the motion except those arising under clause 10 of rule XXI.
4. Provides that the Senate amendments and the motion shall be considered as read.
5. Provides that the motion shall be debatable for one hour and 30 minutes as follows: 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Appropriations; then 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by Representative Lee of California or her designee and an opponent; and then 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by Representative McGovern of Massachusetts or his designee and an opponent.
6. Provides that the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to final adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except that the question of adoption of the motion shall be divided among the five House amendments, with the first portion of the divided question considered as adopted.
7. Provides that if the remaining portions of the divided question fail of adoption, then the House shall be considered to have rejected the motion and to have made no disposition of the Senate amendment to the text.
8. Provides that upon adoption of the motion specified in the first section of this resolution the Clerk shall engross the action of the House under that section as a single amendment; and a motion that the House concur in the Senate amendment to the title shall be considered as adopted.
9. Allows the chair of the Committee on Appropriations to insert in the Congressional Record not later than July 3, 2010, such material as he may deem explanatory of the Senate amendments and the motion specified in the first section of this resolution.
10. Provides that House Resolution 1493 is hereby adopted.
11. Amends the time periods in clause 10 of rule XXI to align with the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.
Resolved, That upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to take from the Speaker's table the bill (H.R. 4899) making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010, and for other purposes, with the Senate amendments thereto, and to consider in the House, without intervention of any point of order except those arising under clause 10 of rule XXI, a motion offered by the chair of the Committee on Appropriations or his designee that the House concur in the Senate amendment to the text with each of the five House amendments printed in the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution. The Senate amendments and the motion shall be considered as read. The motion shall be debatable for one hour and 30 minutes as follows: 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Appropriations; then 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by Representative Lee of California or her designee and an opponent; and then 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by Representative McGovern of Massachusetts or his designee and an opponent. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the motion to final adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except that the question of adoption of the motion shall be divided among the five House amendments. The first portion of the divided question shall be considered as adopted. If the remaining portions of the divided question fail of adoption, then the House shall be considered to have rejected the motion and to have made no disposition of the Senate amendment to the text.
Sec. 2. Upon adoption of the motion specified in the first section of this resolution --
(a) the Clerk shall engross the action of the House under that section as a single amendment; and
(b) a motion that the House concur in the Senate amendment to the title shall be considered as adopted.
Sec. 3. The chair of the Committee on Appropriations may insert in the Congressional Record not later than July 3, 2010, such material as he may deem explanatory of the Senate amendments and the motion specified in the first section of this resolution.
Sec. 4. House Resolution 1493 is hereby adopted.
Sec. 5. Clause 10(a) of rule XXI is amended to read as follows:
``(a)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (b) and (c), it shall not be in order to consider any bill, joint resolution, amendment, or conference report if the provisions of such measure affecting direct spending and revenues have the net effect of increasing the on-budget deficit or reducing the on-budget surplus for the period comprising either -
``(A) the current year, the budget year, and the four years following that budget year; or
``(B) the current year, the budget year, and the nine years following that budget year.
``(2) The effect of such measure on the deficit or surplus shall be determined on the basis of estimates made by the Committee on the Budget relative to baseline estimates supplied by the Congressional Budget Office consistent with section 257 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985 and consistent with sections 3(4), 3(8), and 4(c) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.
``(3) For the purpose of this clause, the terms `budget year,' `current year,' and `direct spending' have the meanings specified in section 250 of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act of 1985, except that the term `direct spending' shall also include provisions in appropriation Acts that make outyear modifications to substantive law as described in section 3(4)(C) of the Statutory Pay-As-You-Go Act of 2010.''.
SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT #1 PROPOSED TO BE CONSIDERED AS ADOPTED
The amendment pays for settlement of the Cobell v. Salazar and Pigford v. Vilsack class action lawsuits. Second, the amendment will allow local Workforce Investment Boards to expand youth jobs programs that were funded in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and support over 350,000 jobs for youth ages 14 to 24 through youth employment programs. The amendment would make two changes to title IV, the “Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2010,” of the Hiring Incentives to Restore Employment (HIRE) Act. First, it would distribute the Projects of National and Regional Significance (PNRS) and National Corridor Infrastructure Improvement (National Corridor) program funding so that each State receives a share equal to the greater of either (1) the amount of PNRS and National Corridor program funding that the State received under the HIRE Act or (2) the amount of PNRS and National Corridor funding that the State receives under this Act. The provision authorizes such sums as may be necessary from the Highway Trust Fund to provide these amounts. Second, the amendment would distribute “additional” highway formula funds (which the bill makes available in lieu of additional congressionally-designated projects) among all of the highway formula programs rather than among just six formula programs. Third, the amendment incorporates the President’s 2011 Budget proposal to require a minimum 10-year term for Grantor-Retained Annuity Trusts. It also would require that the value of the remainder interest must be greater than zero and that the annuity not decrease during the first 10 years of the GRAT term. Finally, in 2008, Congress enacted a $1.01 per gallon tax credit for the production of biofuel from cellulosic feedstocks in order to encourage the development of new production capacity for biofuels that are not derived from food source materials. This provision would limit eligibility for the tax credit to fuels that are not highly corrosive.
SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT #2 PROPOSED TO BE MADE IN ORDER
Obey - The amendment adds $10 billion for an Education Jobs Fund, $4.95 billion for Pell Grants, $701 million for border security, $180 million for innovative technology energy loans, $163 million for schools on military installations, $142 million in additional Gulf Coast oil spill funding, $50 million in emergency food assistance, and $16.5 million to build a new soldier processing center at Fort Hood. In order to hold the total amount to the President’s requested level over a ten-year period, the amendment includes $11.7 billion in rescissions from programs that no longer require the funding, have sufficient funds on hand, or do not need the funding this year or next, and $4.7 billion in savings from changes to mandatory programs. In total, the amendment saves the Federal Government $493 million over ten years compared to the President’s request. The amendment also provides $538 million for program integrity investments that are proven to produce 1½ times that in savings.
SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT #3 PROPOSED TO BE MADE IN ORDER
The amendment would strike military funding for Afghanistan from the bill.
SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT #4 PROPOSED TO BE MADE IN ORDER
Lee (CA) The amendment would begin to end the war in Afghanistan by preventing an escalation of troops in Afghanistan and by limiting funding to the safe withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT #5 PROPOSED TO BE MADE IN ORDER
McGovern-Obey-Jones (NC) The amendment would require the president to present Congress with 1) a new National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan by January 31, 2011 and 2) a plan by April 4, 2011 on the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for the completion of the redeployment. The amendment also requires Congress to vote by July 2011 if it wants to allow the obligation and expenditure of funds for Afghanistan in a manner that is not consistent with the president’s announced policy of December 2009 to begin to drawdown troops by July 2011. The amendment also requires quarterly reports to Congress on the status of the plan submitted to Congress and strengthens and expands oversight of private contractors in Afghanistan to deal more effectively with corruption, waste, fraud and abuse. Last, the amendment clarifies that no part of the amendment shall limit the president’s ability to attack al Qaeda, gather and share intelligence with allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or modify U.S. military strategy on-the-ground over the period of redeployment.
UPDATE 2: They might vote on a "self-executing rule" which means the bill passes without a vote, if none of the amendments pass. This would mean we have to get a majority of No votes on the initial vote on the Rule, and we may not have long to inform everyone of that. These people are trying to self-execute our planet. (But if the domestic spending amendment passed, and then they needed to pass the whole package, we'd stop them.) There will be 60 mins debate on the rule fairly soon this evening. We need to flood the offices with calls demanding No votes on the rule and on any final vote that includes the war escalation funding.
UPDATE: So far we're stopping them. Keep calling Congress through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-3121 and Email 21 key members with one click. There will be three chances to vote No, unless the No votes win on one of the first two: the Rule, a motion to strike all military funds, the overall bill. The House has now passed unemployment insurance.
Tonight the House of Representatives will try to vote over $30 Billion to escalate the war in Afganistan. Here's how it's expected to go down (thanks to Peace Action for some of this):
First they'll vote on unemployment insurance as a stand-alone bill.
Then, following some unrelated votes, they'll debate and vote on the Rule for the Supplemental. Rules are procedural votes that caucuses of congress members serious about blocking something can vote against. Progressives don't tend to be serious, but there's a first time for everything, and we should ask them to vote No on the Rule. A small group of Blue Dogs and Progressives is urging this.
Then they'll debate and vote on amendments to the supplemental. These are expected to include two good amendments to the war spending, which risk however providing members who vote Yes on the money the excuse that they also voted Yes on good amendments.
Presumably the amendments will also include an amendment for spending on useful things like disaster relief and schools. Perhaps the war escalation spending will also be voted on as an amendment -- it's not clear.
Then the "last votes" will come in the evening. Presumably these will include a vote on the complete package of the Supplemental.
Regardless of exactly how it goes, our demand is simple: VOTE NO!
Vote No on the Rule! Vote No on the war escalation funding if offered separately! Vote No on a bill that includes the war escalation funding!
We've already identified more than enough Democratic No votes to stop this train if the Republicans vote No for their own crazy reasons (and some Republicans oppose the war).
Call your Representative through the Capitol Hill switchboard: (202) 224-3121 and Email 21 key members with one click.
Now's the time to get them on record opposing any more funding for these wars ever.
Check where things stand and report on your progress at http://defundwar.org
UPDATE: How they voted:
The Peace Movement's Progress.
Democrats forced to cheat to fund war.
Live blog of the vote.
How they voted on the Rule. Democrats who voted No: Adler (NJ), Berry, Boccieri, Bright, Childers, Conyers, Driehaus, Filner, Foster, Giffords, Grayson, Grijalva, Halvorson, Herseth Sandlin, Himes, Kratovil, Kucinich, Lipinski, Maffei, Marshall, Michaud, Minnick, Mitchell, Murphy, (CT), Murphy (NY), Napolitano, Nye, Perriello, Peters, Pingree (ME), Pomeroy, Schrader, Shea-Porter, Shuler, Skelton, Space, Taylor, Titus.
How they voted on disaster relief, teacher funding amendment, which passed.
How they voted on an amendment to eliminate military funding from the bill.
How they voted on an amendment to limit military funding to withdrawal.
How they voted on an amendment to require the president to present Congress with 1) a new National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan by January 31, 2011 and 2) a plan by April 4, 2011, on "the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for the completion of the redeployment." In addition -- and this was a late addition to the amendment strengthening it considerably -- Congress would be required to vote by July 2011 "if it wants to allow the obligation and expenditure of funds for Afghanistan in a manner that is not consistent with the president's announced policy of December 2009 to begin to drawdown troops by July 2011."