Senate showdown on surge resolution(s); Update: GOP blocks Warner-Levin debate

posted at 6:21 pm on February 5, 2007 by Allahpundit

They’re debating it right now on C-SPAN2. There may or may not be a vote tonight, it may or may not involve Republican counter-resolutions, and the GOP may or may not have the 41 votes needed to filibuster.

Hope that clears things up.

WaPo tries to untangle the wires:

Democratic leaders thought they had secured bipartisan support for a measure last week when they agreed to back a resolution of opposition to President Bush’s troop-escalation plan drafted largely by a Republican, Sen. John Warner of Virginia.

But Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) appears to have rallied his nervous GOP troops behind him in threatening to block a debate unless the Democrats agree to allow votes on two Republican resolutions.

One of those resolutions, by Sen. Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), states that the Constitution gives the president the responsibility for deployment and assignment of missions of U.S. military forces, and that Congress has the responsibility to fully fund those missions. [Huh? -- ed.] The second proposed resolution, by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), would support Bush’s proposal to deploy 21,500 additional troops to Iraq but would set firm benchmarks for the Iraqi government to achieve after the deployment.

The Democrats want a vote on the Warner resolution opposing that deployment and demanding new policies to bring peace to the region, as well as a second resolution simply stating opposition to the president’s plan and demanding that U.S. troops be equipped with appropriate body armor and protection.

Lieberman’s voting with the GOP so Harry Reid needs 10 Republican defectors. According to WaPo, at last count, he has seven in the bank and Lamar Alexander, Larry Craig, Lisa Murkowski, and Specter are undecided. Alexander and Craig are up for re-election in two years, as are 17 other Republican senators.

For all his faults, St. John is right on the money here:

“I hope they keep in mind that this is fundamentally a vote of no confidence in the people that we are sending on this mission in harm’s way. We are telling them, ‘we support you but we believe your mission will fail. We don’t believe what you’re doing,’ ” McCain said.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate to say that you disapprove of a mission and you don’t want to fund it and you don’t want it to go, but yet you don’t take the action necessary to prevent it,” he added.

Question: Is a GOP filibuster really so bad for the Democrats? They don’t want to do anything about the surge, just in case it actually works; all they want is to make a show for the cretins in their base. Forcing the Republicans to block them accomplishes that, with an added bonus of getting to point the finger afterwards at McConnell for thwarting the will of the people, obstructing the legislative process to protect the president, etc. Granted, it’s not quite as good as getting Republicans who are up for re-election to put their name to a vote supporting the war, but if you’re into meaningless symbolic gestures, you can do worse than a filibustered anti-surge resolution.

They’re voting on whether to proceed to debate on the Warner-Levin anti-surge resolution now. Standby.

Update: 49 votes for, 47 against: the motion to proceed to debate fails. Reid has moved to reconsider it. Says Reuters, “The measure could still be revived, but the way ahead was unclear.”

Update: Has the crackdown in Baghdad already begun? An Aussie paper says the Iraqi army has killed one of Sadr’s top aides in the suburbs north of the city:

The US military said that Hamadani had reportedly been responsible for attacks on US and Iraqi troops and was believed to have “facilitated and directed numerous kidnappings, assassinations and other violence”.

They said two Iraqi soldiers shot him dead after storming a building and finding him armed with an assault rifle and “displaying hostile intent”.

Iraqi police said Hamadani had been the leader of Sadr’s political office in Diyala province. In their report on the incident, they said he was shot when he tried to flee.

But Sadr official Matiri said he had not been shot but stabbed with a bayonet.

Update: Fox has a good recap of the Senate debate:

“They may succeed today, but they won’t succeed beyond today,” said the majority whip, Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois.

“There will be a debate on this war, it may not be this week, it may not be this bill, it may not be this resolution, there will be a debate because the American people made it clear in the last election it is time for a new direction.”…

Democrats said they would enter into a second round of negotiations with Republicans on how to proceed to debate Iraq resolutions.

Update: I don’t get it. Why on earth did Harry Reid vote no?

clot.png

Update: According to the Times, it was the resolution that took no position on the surge that was likeliest to pass: “That second alternative, authored by Senator Judd Gregg, Republican of New Hampshire, was proving problematic for Democrats since it was likely to garner a substantial amount of support and potentially be the resolution capable of winning the 60 votes that Republicans say should be a threshold for passage.”

Update: Powerline thinks Reid switched his vote as a procedural matter, so that he could ask for a reconsideration.


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They’re debating it right now on C-SPAN2. There may or may not be a vote tonight, it may or may not involve Republican counter-resolutions, and the GOP may or may not have the 41 votes needed to filibuster.

That’s a lot of maybes…. the one thing we can be certain of is that this, along with all other actions by Democrats and the media since late 2003 have emboldened the enemy. In most cases it’s done deliberately because the Dems and media don’t care what harm they cause this country, so long as it hurts the President. It’s sickening that this is even going on.

RightWinged on February 5, 2007 at 6:29 PM

The DU take on it is – Repubs Show Democrats How A Filibuster Works

Two SCOTUS nominees, and no filibuster to be found. The cretins in their base got a double dose of disappointment.

With Reid being forced to vote against it for procedural reasons, it might even be spun that they did not have enough votes to pass it anyways.

rw on February 5, 2007 at 6:40 PM

That’s a bullet dodged.

see-dubya on February 5, 2007 at 6:44 PM

Credit where it’s due, McCain is indeed dead on. And considering how many of the surge personnel are already in-country, this kind of backseat driving only undermines the troops and emboldens the enemy. Then again, “undermining the troops and emboldening the enemy” pretty much sums up the entire Democrat contribution to the war effort so far–beyond voting to authorize it, of course, don’t ever forget they did that. So it’s not like anybody should be surprised.

ReubenJCogburn on February 5, 2007 at 6:48 PM

That’s a bullet dodged.

see-dubya on February 5, 2007 at 6:44 PM

Yes, but by who?

Jones Zemkophill on February 5, 2007 at 6:49 PM

nice to see we’re going after mookie’s men

Defector01 on February 5, 2007 at 6:55 PM

Even if one were of the opinion that the US was wrong to go into Iraq and therefore is responsible for all the mayhem and confusion there now, [actually, especially if one were of that opinion] why wouldn’t one be entirely committed to seeing the Iraqi people through to the other side of this mess?

Why won’t these Senators stand by the Iraqi people? Is it because Iraqis are brown?

Claire on February 5, 2007 at 7:18 PM

So let me get this strait. The lefty position is this:
“We support the troops, but we would rather they had died in vain”.

Am I correct on this?

Sammy316 on February 5, 2007 at 7:32 PM

Why won’t these Senators stand by the Iraqi people? Is it because Iraqis are brown?

Has no bearing on standing by Iraqis or even backing our troops. It is all about hating the president. If you think that is not the truth, please name one thing the democrats have acknowledged the president has done right. No one is right or wrong all the time.

Wade on February 5, 2007 at 7:37 PM

Omar at Iraq the Model said the fighting would begin Feb. 5 a week ago. How on Earth did he know that?

Kevin M on February 5, 2007 at 7:38 PM

Reid voted against cloture when he realized that it would not pass so that he could bring it back to floor at a future date. Frist used to do the same thing. It has something to do with Senate rules or something.

rw on February 5, 2007 at 8:01 PM

Where was this backbone when we had the MAJORITY?

God help our military.

SouthernGent on February 5, 2007 at 8:11 PM

Amen, Southern Gent!
My husband said, “Maybe this is why Frist never went nuclear. Because he was saving the cloture crap to use on the Dems if we were ever in the minority…”

And I rejoined, “But honey, if Frist had gone nuclear and stopped Dem obstructionism in the Senate, we would have gotten things done and we wouldn’t have lost so many races in November and we wouldn’t have been stuck in the minority.” Around and around it goes.
This must be the GOP’s time to wander in the wilderness, but hopefully not for 40 years! before we are worthy to see the Promised Land.

I, too, was fascinated by Reid’s “no” vote and also by the fact that McCain was MIA, if you will, for the vote…Significance?

Good job, Sen. McConnell ,regardless and let’s see a lot more use of these new GOP Malkins and spines, please!

Jen the Neocon on February 5, 2007 at 8:21 PM

The sad thing is that the surge would have happened even if this had passed.

It was and always would have been a toothless resolution. Congress has no power to control the military.

William Amos on February 5, 2007 at 8:22 PM

Update: I don’t get it. Why on earth did Harry Reid vote no?

Proceedural rules. Reid has to vote against it to allow him to re introduce it.

William Amos on February 5, 2007 at 8:28 PM

Congress has no power to control the military.

And this shows why too.

lorien1973 on February 5, 2007 at 9:24 PM

I love it. The KOS kids are really crying hard.

Guardian on February 5, 2007 at 9:29 PM

“I hope they keep in mind that this is fundamentally a vote of no confidence in the people that we are sending on this mission in harm’s way. We are telling them, ‘we support you but we believe your mission will fail. We don’t believe what you’re doing,’ ” McCain said.

Can we wipe this nuance from our backsides?

“A vote of no confidence” = Embolding our enemies, filling the recruiting ranks, strapping on more homicide bombs, giving the enemy more propoganda to use for years and years, and since the majority of Middle Eastern countries have state owned/controlled media, school, propoganda……. more bodies to aim at.

While the Senators sit, reveling in their own bodily juices, thinking of the Daemons that keep them up at night and what more of their souls they have to sell to stay in power………. real people are landing in a battle field.

They are responsible for every death if they don’t get behind their fellow citizens who are in harms way.

Win the war, then bitch about it. GOOD GOD… does it never end?

PinkyBigglesworth on February 5, 2007 at 9:47 PM

Coleman is just now realizing that he’s from MN. Pitty.

Best of today was Mr. Lieberman in his turn. I can’t find the quote but heard it on the radio. He was very passionate and gave his party, or the dems a good lashing “in all the wars something like this never was voted on…”

This gives the libs a huge pass. The only honest thing for the repubs to do is to force the libs to vote against funding (not the surge, but the actual funding).

None have cojones big enough.

The NYT acts as if someone died, or as if it’s impertinent of the minority to be a strong opposition, forgetting how the left reacted all those years…

Entelechy on February 5, 2007 at 10:47 PM

So McCain refuses to vote for or against this dishonorable resolution yet he wants my vote? Forget it, McCain! I’ll show you how it is done and vote for anyone but ‘RINO’ McCain.

Yes, Reid voted against cloture so that he could bring it back to floor at a future date, yet the fact that he voted against it remains relevant. That move makes the rest of the ‘Progressives [insurance] look pretty damn bad. I can live with that.

It is about time that the Senate ‘Republicans’ showed America that they have a backbone. Like Bush, their timing is a matter of too little too late as the elections are over.

Entelechy [February 5, 2007 at 10:47 PM] is spot on.

DannoJyd on February 5, 2007 at 11:52 PM

“Is a GOP filibuster really so bad for the Democrats?”

Yes. Democrats and liberals are traitors and cowards. They don’t have the gumballs to put their (actually OUR) money where their mouths are.

Regardless of what Reid tried to accomplish by his vote and no matter what DICK the Turbin Durbin says, The Democrats are proven to be luzers and yellow.

Luzers ’cause they couldn’t do what they said they’d do.

Yellow because the are STILL the party of cut and run — but they are TOO COWARDLY to put it to a vote.

This was a defeat for them and the DUers and KoSICKS know it, too. That’s why they are whining.

georgej on February 6, 2007 at 1:05 AM

Just saw your picture Harry. Prunes, Harry. Lots and lots of prunes.

Sam on February 6, 2007 at 10:13 AM