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#574337 --- 05/09/07 12:00 PM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Strawberry Jam]
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
I love soldiers enough not to want them to be needlessly sacrificed at the rate of 1,000+ a month. That is respect and support.
You don't waste a valuable resource. You save it for when you really need it. In the case of the military you don't send them to war unless there is a compelling national security reason to do so.

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#574340 --- 05/09/07 12:04 PM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Retired Soldier]
Strawberry Jam Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 34421
Loc: Herkimer County NY
Originally Posted By: Retired Soldier
I love soldiers enough not to want them to be needlessly sacrificed at the rate of 1,000+ a month. That is respect and support.
You don't waste a valuable resource. You save it for when you really need it. In the case of the military you don't send them to war unless there is a compelling national security reason to do so.



Umm, I think that number is a little high. Each of the 3300 lives lost are precious, but that does not equal 1000 per month . Tell General Beam you need to stop meeting so much.

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#574353 --- 05/09/07 12:19 PM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Strawberry Jam]
Strawberry Jam Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 34421
Loc: Herkimer County NY
Updated:2007-05-09 02:16:14
Pentagon Tells 35,000: Prepare to Deploy
House Democrats Defiantly Push New Iraq Funding Plan
By LOLITA C. BALDOR and ANNE FLAHERTY
AP
WASHINGTON (May 9) -- The Pentagon on Tuesday alerted more than 35,000 Army soldiers that they could be sent to Iraq this fall. In Congress , House Democrats defiantly pushed a plan to limit war funding to two-month installments.


The deployment orders signed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates would allow commanders to maintain the buildup of troops through the end of the year if needed. President Bush has ordered nearly 30,000 additional troops to Iraq to quell a spike in violence, particularly in and around Baghdad . There are currently about 146,000 U.S. troops in Iraq.

Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said the orders do not mean the military has decided to maintain the increased force levels through December. The Pentagon "has been very clear that a decision about the duration of the surge will depend on conditions on the ground," he said.

The announcement comes as Bush is under increasing pressure to pull troops out of Iraq. Bush last week vetoed $124.2 billion legislation that would have funded the war while requiring troops to start coming home this fall. According to a CNN-Opinion Research Corp. poll released Tuesday, just over half of Americans disapproved of the veto.

House Democratic leaders briefed party members Tuesday on new legislation that would fund the Iraq war through July, then give Congress the option of cutting off money after that if conditions do not improve. Bush requested more than $90 billion to fund the war through September.


The proposal is aimed at appeasing Democratic lawmakers who want to end the war immediately and are urging leaders not to back down after Bush's veto last week. But lacking a firm endorsement by the Senate, the challenge by House Democrats seemed more for political show than a preview of another veto showdown with Bush.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid , D-Nev., told reporters before meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that "nothing's been ruled out and nothing's been ruled in" as he would continue to try to work with the White House.

House Democratic leaders struck a more defiant tone.

"I didn't commit to any compromise" with the White House, said Pelosi, D-Calif.[/]

Asked whether Democrats were still talking with the White House, Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., said, "They know what we're doing obviously. I don't think their subscriptions to the newspapers ended at any time recently."

Democratic leadership aides said Reid and Pelosi acknowledged in their meeting Tuesday that the House plan would be considerably more difficult to pass in the Senate, where 60 votes are often required and that the two chambers may have to pursue different tracks.

Earlier in the day, Bush met with more than a dozen Democrats, most of whom with fairly conservative voting records.

"They (the White House) seemed to be concerned about their relationship with a number of us, and I think they should be," said Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Ala., one of the members who attended. "It's perplexing why we couldn't have had a couple of these meetings earlier."

The House bill would provide $30 billion to fund military operations through July, as well as more than $12 billion more to pay for equipment, training security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and defense health. Some $15 billion more would be provided for other high-priority projects, including $6.8 billion for hurricane relief, $3.1 billion for base closings and $2.2 billion for homeland security.

Under the proposal, Bush would have to update Congress by July 13 on whether the Iraqi government was meeting certain political and security reforms. Congress would decide 10 days later whether to end the war and bring troops home or provide funding through September.

The House would vote separately this month on a bill providing about $3.5 billion in agricultural assistance and about $1 billion for rural schools, wildfire relief and aid to salmon farmers.

"We're trying to prepare a second option so that if the administration wants to continue to just hold its breath and turn blue until they get their money, we're going to have another alternative," said Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who planned to brief White House chief of staff Josh Bolten on Tuesday.

White House spokesman Tony Snow called the approach "just bad management."

"We think it is appropriate to be able to give commanders what they are going to need, and also forces in the field, so that you can make long-term decisions in trying to build the mission," Snow said.

Congressional Republicans also dismissed the Democratic proposal as unfairly rationing funds needed in combat and said their members would not support it.

[b]Democrats "should not treat our men and women in uniform like they are children who are getting a monthly allowance," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, his party's leader.


Gates and his military leaders have said that commanders in Iraq will make recommendations in September on whether the buildup has been successful and whether it should continue or if troops can begin coming home.

Snow and other administration officials have tried to tamp down expectations of the September review, although several senior Republicans say it will prove critical to whether the GOP continues to support the war.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, introduced legislation Tuesday that would require the Iraqi government to meet certain benchmarks within four months. If Baghdad fails, military commanders would begin planning to bring some troops home and refocusing remaining forces on noncombat missions, such as training the Iraqi security forces. Snowe's bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., sets a nonbinding goal of ending combat six months later.

Associated Press writer Ben Evans contributed to this report.


Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been


Edited by Strawberry Jam (05/09/07 12:21 PM)

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#574391 --- 05/09/07 01:22 PM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Strawberry Jam]
Sausage Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 6378
Loc: The Meat Grinder
Originally Posted By: Strawberry Jam
Originally Posted By: Retired Soldier
I love soldiers enough not to want them to be needlessly sacrificed at the rate of 1,000+ a month. That is respect and support.
You don't waste a valuable resource. You save it for when you really need it. In the case of the military you don't send them to war unless there is a compelling national security reason to do so.



Umm, I think that number is a little high. Each of the 3300 lives lost are precious, but that does not equal 1000 per month . Tell General Beam you need to stop meeting so much.


At that rate, I would want my paycheck done on that calculator!
_________________________
Everybody wants to rule the world..

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#575025 --- 05/10/07 11:23 AM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Sausage]
Strawberry Jam Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 34421
Loc: Herkimer County NY
Updated:2007-05-10 06:29:47
Moderates Seek to Break Iraq Impasse
By ANNE FLAHERTY
AP
WASHINGTON (May 10) - As Democratic leaders feud with the White House on Iraq war spending, lawmakers from both parties are working quietly to break the impasse.

So far, no luck.

Of the dozen or so members in Congress attempting to strike a bipartisan compromise on the war, few have come forward with concrete plans - perhaps out of reluctance to champion a proposal until they know it can succeed. None of the proposals put in plain view have picked up steam.

"We'll see what happens," said Rep. Bud Cramer, D-Ala. "A lot of us are coming together across the aisle. We're under the radar now, but we're meeting."

In the meantime, House members will vote Thursday on a new Iraq bill hotly contested by the White House, opposed by nearly all Republicans and unlikely to survive in the Senate .

The bill would provide the military with $42.8 billion to keep operations going through July, buy equipment and train Iraqi and Afghan security forces. Congress would decide shortly before its August recess whether to release an additional $52.8 billion for war spending through September.

"The president refuses to listen to the American people who want this war to end," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif.

House Democratic leaders say the legislation once again has united Democrats in challenging Bush on the war. While this may be true, it has not attracted enough Republicans to override a second veto and has raised doubts among Senate Democrats.

"Enough is enough," said House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "It is time to get a clean bill to the president's desk and really support our troops."

Three Republicans - Reps. Frank Wolf of Virginia, Michael McCaul of Texas and Mark Udall of Colorado - circulated a letter Wednesday urging their colleagues to co-sponsor legislation that would put in place recommendations from the independent Iraq Study Group.

One of the 79 suggestions from the bipartisan group in December was reducing U.S. "political, military or economic support" for Iraq if the Baghdad government could not make substantial progress toward providing for the country's security. The report suggested an urgent diplomatic attempt to stabilize Iraq and allow the withdrawal of most U.S. combat troops by early 2008.

"When the country is together, we are strong and can respond to our problems effectively," the three House Republicans wrote. "The more we are divided, the harder this becomes."

At the White House, 11 moderate House Republicans met with the president and top aides Tuesday. Several participants at the meeting, disclosed Wednesday, described a remarkably blunt discussion in which lawmakers told the president that the war was unsustainable without public support and that it was having a corrosive effect on GOP political fortunes.

"We asked them what's Plan B," said Rep. Tom Davis of Virginia. "We let them know that the status quo is not acceptable." Davis said the president responded that if he began discussing a new strategy, his current one never would have a chance to succeed.

Several GOP senators sought to find their own solution.

Last week, Sen. John Warner, R-Va., raised hopes when he said he had an idea that had enough support to override a veto. Warner said his proposal would pressure the Iraqi government to take more initiative on political and security reforms. He declined to offer more specifics.

On Wednesday, Warner said he was reassessing in light of the new House proposal.

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, and John Sununu, R-N.H., said they are open to considering conditions on foreign aid to Iraq if the Baghdad government fails to meet certain benchmarks.

Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb., said he agrees that withholding reconstruction money is a good idea. But he thinks the president should be the one to do it based on a White House review of progress reports.


Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
2007-05-09 16:56:10

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#575494 --- 05/11/07 01:26 AM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Strawberry Jam]
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
Bush hints at Iraq funding deal
US President George W Bush has hinted at compromise on an Iraq funding bill, saying the idea of setting benchmarks on progress in Iraq "made sense".

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#578161 --- 05/17/07 11:07 AM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Retired Soldier]
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
Senate votes show support for war eroding
But attempt to force pullout is soundly defeated
By Noam N. Levey, Los Angeles Times | May 17, 2007

WASHINGTON -- Forty-four Republican senators backed a plan yesterday to tie continued economic aid to Iraq to the performance of its government, the strongest demonstration yet of GOP willingness to set limits on the president's management of the war.

And in an indication of growing Democratic resolve to force an end to the war, a majority of Democratic senators supported a second measure that would have cut off funding for most combat operations in Iraq by the end of March.

Both proposals failed to win the support needed to proceed to a debate and a vote on the actual measures.

The plan to link aid to benchmarks that the Iraqi government would have to meet -- sponsored by Republican Senators John Warner of Virginia and Susan Collins of Maine -- drew the votes of 52 senators, short of the 60 needed to begin debate.

Only 29 lawmakers voted to move forward with debate of the funding cut off plan sponsored by Senator Russ Feingold, Democrat of Wisconsin, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada.

Despite the failure of both measures -- amendments to an unrelated bill to fund water projects -- the Iraq-related votes in the Senate underlined how dramatically Congress is moving to respond to public dismay with the war.

"It is clear that change is in the air," assistant Senate majority leader Richard Durbin, Democrat of Illinois, said after the vote. "Our resolutions have not passed, but they will pass. I don't know how many more bodies will come home, how many more injured soldiers there will be. But a growing tension in this country over this war will lead us to the right conclusion."

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#578164 --- 05/17/07 11:11 AM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Retired Soldier]
Strawberry Jam Offline
Diamond Member

Registered: 07/11/04
Posts: 34421
Loc: Herkimer County NY
Talks to resume on bill to fund Iraq war By ANNE FLAHERTY, Associated Press Writer
Thu May 17, 3:47 AM ET



WASHINGTON - Congressional Democrats and President Bush's top aides will enter another round of high-stakes negotiations on funding for the Iraq war in what has become an exhaustive test of wills.

ADVERTISEMENT

The talks are expected to continue for days, as the each side struggles for the upper hand.

"To be successful, we must end the finger-pointing and instead roll up our sleeves and work together. I believe that we can — and we will," said Sen. Robert Byrd (news, bio, voting record), D-W.Va.

At stake is the nearly $90 billion Bush says is needed to pay for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through September. Earlier this month, Congress sent — and Bush vetoed — a $124.2 billion bill that would have funded the war but ordered troop withdrawals to begin by Oct. 1.

Without enough votes to override Bush's veto, Democrats are laboring to send Bush new legislation by Memorial Day that challenges Bush's Iraq policy but ensures troops have the resources they need.

The House wants to fund the war in two-month installments, giving members a chance to cut off money for combat if conditions in Iraq do not improve.

That approach is not expected to survive the Senate, where Democrats hold a razor-thin majority and several of them oppose limiting war funding. Bush also has threatened to veto the approach.


In a bid to expedite negotiations and avoid thorny procedural hurdles, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (news, bio, voting record) set up a vote Thursday on a nonbinding resolution expressing support for the troops. The measure is expected to pass with broad bipartisan support and provide Democrats a legislative vehicle to begin negotiations with the House.

Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (news, bio, voting record), R-Ky., said he discussed in recent meetings the "substance of a final deal" with Majority Leader Harry Reid and White House chief of staff Josh Bolten. He declined to offer any specifics.

Reid, D-Nev., told reporters that the final outcome will not give the president what he wants.

"He's not going to have the blank check," Reid said. "There's a Congress and he has to deal with us."

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#581366 --- 05/24/07 09:05 PM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Strawberry Jam]
Retired Soldier Offline
Silver Member

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 12945
Loc: Rochester, NY
(Reuters) - For the first time, the U.S. Congress is attaching conditions to some money it is approving related to the Iraq war.

Congressional Democrats had been hoping to tie funding to timetables for withdrawing U.S. troops but they did not have enough votes to overcome President George W. Bush's opposition. Instead, a deal has been worked out to link reconstruction aid to progress in Iraq.

Here are some conditions in the version Congress is expected to approve:

* Bush will report to Congress by July 15 and September 15 on Iraq's progress toward meeting 18 "benchmarks" for progress. Those include Baghdad's implementation of legislation to fairly distribute oil revenues, taking steps to disarm militias and improving Iraqi security forces' ability to effectively operate without U.S. backup;

* U.S. funds for Iraqi reconstruction projects could be denied if Bush reports inadequate progress. Currently, about $1.6 billion would be at stake. But Bush could waive the restriction and provide the money even without adequate progress;

* The U.S. Comptroller General, by September 1, would submit to Congress an independent report on Iraq's progress in meeting benchmarks;

* The Defense Department would commission an independent assessment of Iraq's security forces' readiness to take responsibility for protecting the country and report to Congress within four months.

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#581392 --- 05/24/07 10:00 PM Re: Democrats are backing down in Senate [Re: Retired Soldier]
Al Kida Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 3102
Originally Posted By: Retired Soldier
(Reuters) - For the first time, the U.S. Congress is attaching conditions to some money it is approving related to the Iraq war.

Congressional Democrats had been hoping to tie funding to timetables for withdrawing U.S. troops but they did not have enough votes to overcome President George W. Bush's opposition. Instead, a deal has been worked out to link reconstruction aid to progress in Iraq.

Here are some conditions in the version Congress is expected to approve:

* Bush will report to Congress by July 15 and September 15 on Iraq's progress toward meeting 18 "benchmarks" for progress. Those include Baghdad's implementation of legislation to fairly distribute oil revenues, taking steps to disarm militias and improving Iraqi security forces' ability to effectively operate without U.S. backup;

* U.S. funds for Iraqi reconstruction projects could be denied if Bush reports inadequate progress. Currently, about $1.6 billion would be at stake. But Bush could waive the restriction and provide the money even without adequate progress;

* The U.S. Comptroller General, by September 1, would submit to Congress an independent report on Iraq's progress in meeting benchmarks;

* The Defense Department would commission an independent assessment of Iraq's security forces' readiness to take responsibility for protecting the country and report to Congress within four months.




Retired Soldier and I are very sad about being cheated by the Democrats!!!

First they are unable to pull the troops from Iraq like they promised during the election.

Then they are unable to withhold funding for the troops!!!

Now they are forced to fund the troops and must settle for attaching conditions, anyone of which the President can ignore!!!



"The measure will include benchmarks that the Baghdad government must meet to continue to receive U.S. reconstruction aid, although the president will be allowed to waive those requirements. . . . It also would threaten to withhold reconstruction aid if Baghdad fails to make progress on political and security reforms. The White House initially was cool to the idea of imposing consequences against the Iraqi government for failing to meet benchmarks, even though the president would be allowed to ignore the restriction if he wants. - http://newsfeedresearcher.com/data/articles_n21/idn2007.05.23.13.42.00.html


Why have we been abandoned by our party!!!!
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