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Senate approves $70 billion for wars

After months of posturing and posing, Senate Democrats bow to President Bush yet again and approve the money they have withheld for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manu Raju reports for The Hill:


The Senate on Tuesday night handed President Bush a critical victory in the Iraq debate, approving billions of dollars for war operations and backing down from a months-long threat of withholding funding until the White House commits to a drawdown of troops.

After falling short on two attempts to force a change in war tactics, 21 Democrats joined one independent and 48 Republicans to approve $70 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will be packaged with a sprawling $516 billion omnibus spending bill that would fund most federal agencies. Sen. Gordon Smith, who faces a tough reelection race in 2008 in Oregon, was the only Republican to vote against the war-funding plan.

The Senate later approved the massive spending bill by a 76-17 vote, moving one step closer to finishing its work for the year and ending the yearlong budget standoff between the White House and Congress.

The 70-25 vote on the war funding measure caps a year of unsuccessful Democratic attempts to sufficiently chip away at solid GOP support for the war. Ultimately, Democratic leaders declined to levy pressure on their caucus to block the latest round of unfettered Iraq money.


Read the rest at the link above. I remember Harry Reid flatly declaring the President would not get the money for the wars without conditions. But then, he also declared the Iraq War "lost" in the spring, and claimed al Qaeda in Iraq was strong only the other day. And they think Senator Byrd is losing it? . . .


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Comments (33)

JimUltimatel... (Below threshold)

Jim

Ultimately, Democratic leaders declined to levy pressure on their caucus to block the latest round of unfettered Iraq money.

Have they finally figured out that the 2006 election may have been about other issues besides the war?....actually, let's hope not.

I hope the Democrat war cri... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

I hope the Democrat war criminals/ torturers/collaborators spend their golden years in prison.

I hope the Democrat war ... (Below threshold)
Clay:

I hope the Democrat war criminals/ torturers/collaborators spend their golden years in prison.

Yeah. Go get 'em.

Have they finally ... (Below threshold)
Rovin Author Profile Page:
Have they finally figured out that the 2006 election may have been about other issues besides the war?....actually, let's hope not.

Actually Hugh, it was the "change in direction" that they think got them elected, but some one forgot to turn the GPS on. And their "direction" was banking on our military defeat.


And their "direction" wa... (Below threshold)
Clay:

And their "direction" was banking on our military defeat.

Beware of strategies that rely on tactics over which you have little control. Gotta give 'em credit, though. They really did attempt to control the outcome. Now they're in deep, deep sh*t. Adrian's out for blood. It won't be pretty.

You guys do realize that Re... (Below threshold)
mantis:

You guys do realize that Republican intransigence on this only hurts their chances in the election, right? That they have steadfastly backed an unpopular president in continuing an unpopular war without end will only help the Democrats pick up more seats in both houses. Is that really what you all want? I sure as hell don't want a powerless Republican opposition in Congress while a Democrat occupies the White House.

"I sure as hell don't want ... (Below threshold)
JLawson:

"I sure as hell don't want a powerless Republican opposition in Congress while a Democrat occupies the White House."

Why not, Mantis?

Isn't that the ultimate wet-dream of the Democrats, to have a powerless opposition and a Democratic President?

Think about it - no opposition to WHATEVER the President desires. No Progressive fantasy is too extreme, no pork-barrel project refused. Raise taxes to confiscatory heights, to pay for everything... and also bump up the unemployment benefits for those thrown out of work when companies fold from excessive taxation and a depressed economy! Stick it to the Man, baby, and let the good times roll while the Economy tanks!

And you can completely screw over any Republican proposals to restrain spending or pork. It's clear the people (bless their greedy hearts!) DID NOT want to do that when they had the chance!

Why, it'll be like the late '70s again, especially if you can cut off the Iraqi support like the Dems did to Viet Nam - you might even get things so bad that DISCO becomes popular again!

Though I think Travolta would have a hard time fitting into his Saturday Night Fever suit...

Just think of those glory days, Mantis. They can come again - you just have to believe.

You guys do realize that... (Below threshold)
Clay:

You guys do realize that Republican intransigence on this only hurts their chances in the election, right?

Yep. I'll bet that intransigence is the reason for Congress' approval at an all-time low. I'd like for the Democrats to persist in that thought, anyhow. But, it hasn't gone unnoticed that all of their problems are caused by others.

Personally, I think America is ready for a reminder of what a Democrat Whitehouse and Congress is all about. It would fairly guarantee another Republican run of the table.

Why not, Mantis?... (Below threshold)
mantis:
Why not, Mantis?

Isn't that the ultimate wet-dream of the Democrats, to have a powerless opposition and a Democratic President?

I'm not a Democrat. I don't like it when either party controls both houses and the executive without an opposition with some power. I like balance. On some of your other comments:

And you can completely screw over any Republican proposals to restrain spending or pork.

Hilarious. Have you been asleep the last six years?

Why, it'll be like the late '70s again, especially if you can cut off the Iraqi support like the Dems did to Viet Nam - you might even get things so bad that DISCO becomes popular again!

I'd rather not go back to the late '70s, thank you very much. And btw, disco is popular again. New disco, but still...

I am amused by all the spin... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

I am amused by all the spinning of the liberals. They supported the Dems with the goal to withdraw from Iraq. After the 2006 election, they have been talking about a 60+ majority in the Senate for the dems and how Bush has become a lame-duck and irrelevant. The dems can cut-off the Iraq war funding any time they want. Despite how incompetent and dishonest the dems have become, these liberals will continue to vote for them in any case.

Wow-we are going to need th... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Wow-we are going to need those damn bucks now-

Conservatives win by a LANDSLIDE in South Korea.

We are going to have to defend those people someday when the North Koreasn are starved into attack mode.

Here is the story via NYT 38 minutes ago

Link

Yep. I'll bet that intra... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Yep. I'll bet that intransigence is the reason for Congress' approval at an all-time low.

Well, that's part of it. Considering that Republicans in Congress poll lower than Democrats in Congress, and the president's numbers have been very low for two years now, I think it's safe to assume that the low approval ratings of Democrats in Congress are not a result of the people wholeheartedly supporting the president's policies.

Personally, I think America is ready for a reminder of what a Democrat Whitehouse and Congress is all about.

Well, we may very well get that reminder, now that we know what a Republican White House and Congress are all about.

JLawson:Up until t... (Below threshold)
kevino:

JLawson:

Up until the disco reference I agree. Oh, God, truly it will be the end of the world if disco returns. Gag!

But seriously, this is the great Democrat/Progressive/Socialist wetdream. A Democrat in the White House who is basically anti-American, with a Democratically controlled House and Senate. And that President will likely have a supermajority in the Senate, and will be able to appoint Socialists to the Federal bench, giving us a lifetime of judges rewriting the Constitution and the Law to whatever they want it to mean.

The Democrats will do for the entire country what they have done for the states in the North East where they have exercised total control: they will drive the country into the ground. States like MA, NJ, and NY are solidly blue states. They have all of the advantages that you could possibly imagine in terms of natural and human resources. But they have one huge problem: they are run by Democrats. As a result, they have massive problems that they cannot cope with. Out of pure desperation, the population votes in enough Republicans to fix the mess or at least keep the lunatics at bay.

The 2006 election was all about the war. Part of the Democratic victory was an expression of anger, but part of it was the promise that the Democrats would get us out of there. The majority of voters never though it through what the consequences would be. The public should have thought it through and asked tougher questions. They didn't. Look at what they got.

This is why conservatives and libertarians have such confidence in their ideas. We have the benefit of history and experience on our side. We understand that there are certain ideas and principles at work that make this country truly great. The Democrats can't operate in an environment where those principles apply. Therefore, they want to change things, and they are about to get a great opportunity to do just that. (In looking at the Democratic debate the other night, I was stuck by how little these people seemed to understand how are system works and how much they want to change things. They are, truly, anti-American. They don't see a country with problems; they see a country that needs to be fundamentally changed.)

America is the most powerful country on earth. They can change that: we can grovel like the Europeans do.

America has a hugely successful economy. They can change that: we can have massive, persistent unemployment and a lower standard of living.

America has a political system that minimizes State control and values the individuality and personal responsibility of its citizens. They can change that: the State will take better care of its subjects. To do that efficiently, the State will absorb more resources and exercise more control over its subjects. (We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good.")

America has a health care system that is expensive but provides extremely high quality. They can fix that: socialized medicine provides massive amounts of low-quality service. (This will help with the coming Medicare funding crisis because the system will be absorbed by another State program. It will also help with the coming Social Security funding crisis because people won't live as long.)

"We are at a stage in history in which remolding society is one of the great challenges facing all of us in the West."
- Hillary Clinton, 1993 (when a Democratic President had a majority in both Houses of Congress)

Get ready to be "remodeled" folks.

I think that America will hand over total control of the Federal government to the Democrats in 2008, for selfish, short-sighted reasons and without asking important questions. History will show that it was a terrible mistake, but we will get the government that we deserve.

After the 2006 election,... (Below threshold)
mantis:

After the 2006 election, they have been talking about a 60+ majority in the Senate for the dems and how Bush has become a lame-duck and irrelevant.

A 60+ majority for the Democrats is a pipe dream for 2008. The best they can do is probably 55+1+1.

The dems can cut-off the Iraq war funding any time they want.

No they can't, quite obviously.

After the 2006 election, th... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

After the 2006 election, they have been talking about a 60+ majority in the Senate for the dems and how Bush has become a lame-duck and irrelevant.

A 60+ majority for the Democrats is a pipe dream for 2008. The best they can do is probably 55+1+1.
-------------------------------------
Hey, that was the talk after the 2006 election. So 57 is a scaled down expectation (given that the Reps have a lot more seats to defend). How about all the talks about Bush being a lame-duck and irrelevant?

The dems can cut-off the Iraq war funding any time they want.
No they can't, quite obviously.

-------------------------------------
They can shut down the gov if it is important to them. I am amused by the dems blaming their problem on the Rep. Just look at their dishonest leaders Reid and Pelosi to understand why it is rotten from the top.


Using Mantis 's arg, the De... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Using Mantis 's arg, the Dems should continue sending Bush bills to veto to show how instransient the Reps are. This will help them gain a 60+ seat advantage in 2008. In other words, it is to the Dem advantage to play hardball for their priorities here.

Using Mantis 's arg, the... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Using Mantis 's arg, the Dems should continue sending Bush bills to veto to show how instransient the Reps are. This will help them gain a 60+ seat advantage in 2008. In other words, it is to the Dem advantage to play hardball for their priorities here.

My guess is yes, it will play to their advantage in 2008 to do so. When Clinton or Obama gets the nomination (unfortunately), the Republican candidate will no doubt try to paint their Democratic Congress as ineffective. In response they will blame this on the Republicans in Congress and their support of the president (allowing them to continue to run mainly against him, of course). Since the Democrats compromised on a variety of things when Republicans were in control of both houses, and the Republicans, at the presidents behest, have refused to do so almost entirely since the Democrats took power, it is a compelling argument.

None of that will matter nearly as much as Iraq, though. As we continue to remove troops in the months preceding the election, and things take a turn for the worse in Iraq again, voters will become even more tired of this seemingly endless war. Who will they punish at the voting booth, the party that is failing to get out of Iraq, or the party that never wants to leave?

Of course, when Democrats a... (Below threshold)

Of course, when Democrats ask for "compromise," what they mean is "total capitulation."

I still wonder exactly where Democrats and major media got the idea Democrats won the 2006 midterms on some mandate to withdraw from Iraq. Of the thirty-odd House seats they took from Republicans, not a single one of their candidates called for immediate withdrawal OR a timetable. In fact, they were all rather specifically AGAINST such proposals (at least until AFTER the election).

If your candidates campaign SPECIFICALLY against a policy, just how does their victory constitute a "mandate" for the policy they ran AGAINST?

Another Big Lie.

None of that will matter ne... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

None of that will matter nearly as much as Iraq, though. As we continue to remove troops in the months preceding the election, and things take a turn for the worse in Iraq again, voters will become even more tired of this seemingly endless war. Who will they punish at the voting booth, the party that is failing to get out of Iraq, or the party that never wants to leave?
-------------------------------------
Again, we are reducing the troops in Iraq as we are suceeding (the Bush 's plan all along and he got Patreaus to thank for sure). The dems simply cannot be honest about this.
In any case, the democrats are caving on Iraq because one of the following reasons:

(1) They are stupid
(2) They don't believe the polls that the public wants the US to lose in Iraq
(3) They don't believe the polls about their own popularity
(4) They do it for propaganda purpose as they have been doing: send a message to their moonbat base and the terrorists to hang on until they get power. We, the democrats, will hand the victory to the terrorists, when we get more power in 2008.

Not sure what is the primary reason liberals support the dems. According to Mantis, (4) may be the most important reason.


Of the thirty-odd House ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Of the thirty-odd House seats they took from Republicans, not a single one of their candidates called for immediate withdrawal OR a timetable.

For a political blogger you're pretty unaware of the positions of politicians, or maybe not....

Jerry McNerney (CA 11th) - expressed support for Murtha's phased withdrawal plan during his campaign.

Chris Murphy (CT 5th) - also advocated a withdrawal timetable.

Tim Mahoney (FL 16th) - Withdrawal timetable

Ron Klein (FL 22nd) - Strategic withdrawal

David Loebsack (IA 2nd) - Advocated "immediate disengagement"

John Yarmuth (KY 3rd) - Advocated beginning immediate withdrawal

Carol Shea-Porter (NH 1st) - Immediate withdrawal

Paul Hodes (NH 2nd) - Immediate withdrawal of National Guard and Reserves

John Hall (NY 19th) - Immediate withdrawal and transfer to multinational force

Joe Sestak (PA 7th) - "Withdraw from Iraq by end of 2007"

Patrick Murphy (PA 8th) - Phased withdrawal

Also, Peter Welch (VT) advocated withdrawal, but he didn't take the seat from a Republican.

I got all this from OnTheIssues. Maybe now you'll stop trotting out your "Democratic challengers didn't call for withdrawal" line, but I doubt it.

The Democrats are collusion... (Below threshold)
Adrian Browne:

The Democrats are collusionists.

Again, we are reducing t... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Again, we are reducing the troops in Iraq as we are suceeding (the Bush 's plan all along and he got Patreaus to thank for sure).

Succeeding in bringing the violence down to pre-2006 levels, yes. But the Iraqis are not doing shit with the peace dividend, and we cannot support our troop levels (that's why were reducing troops, btw). As they go down, all of these groups we've been arming will increase their fighting (or maybe they'll kiss and make up, but I'm not betting on it).

In any case, the democrats are caving on Iraq because one of the following reasons:

None of those reasons are accurate. They cave because they have no other choice. They could never convince every Congressional Democrat to support a funding cutoff, and they can't get enough Republicans to support an imposition of withdrawal timetables. Rock, hard place.

Btw, LAI, who exactly are "the terrorists" in Iraq, by your estimation? And how will those terrorists gain control of Iraq?

Succeeding in bringing the ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Succeeding in bringing the violence down to pre-2006 levels, yes. But the Iraqis are not doing shit with the peace dividend, and we cannot support our troop levels (that's why were reducing troops, btw). As they go down, all of these groups we've been arming will increase their fighting (or maybe they'll kiss and make up, but I'm not betting on it).
------------------------------------
Cannot stop spinning. Obviously more and more Iraquis (Sunni and Shiite) are siding with the American and picking up the slack. The British just handed Basra back to the Iraqui. But it won't stop the spin that the Iraquis are not doing shits.

They cave because they have no other choice. They could never convince every Congressional Democrat to support a funding cutoff, and they can't get enough Republicans to support an imposition of withdrawal timetables. Rock, hard place.
------------------------------------
Cannot stop spinning again. WHy did they keep bringing it up? Not to send a message to their moonbat base and the terrorists. Reid just got out there again proclaiming that America is losing. Cannot face the facts.


Btw, LAI, who exactly are "the terrorists" in Iraq, by your estimation? And how will those terrorists gain control of Iraq?
Remember Somalia? What a propagandist coup for AlQ and their ally, Iranian mullahs, to claim how they have defeated America in Iraq. Is that the reason why liberals want to snatch defeat from the jaw of victory for America (so that Bush cannot claim victory)?

BTW, It is more acc... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

BTW,
It is more accurate to say that the dems have done shit with their power except for Reid keeps making those stupid announcements of American defeat. But that won't stop liberals like Mantis from making excuse for them. In the mean time, progress in Iraq is never enough for them despite their effort to sabotage Iraq. Using Mantis logic, we should have folded after the D-day and proclaimed that WW2 was lost.

I would continue to respond... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I would continue to respond to you, LAI, if you bothered to make any sense or pay attention to what others actually write instead of what you imagine them to have written in your perpetually fevered state. But alas, you do not. Carry on.

Btw, declare victory and get out.

Mantis, Feel free t... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Mantis,
Feel free to cut and run. I just pointed out facts and the flaws in your logic and spin. That 's all. If you can't answer my facts or arg, feel free to run.

I'm happy to discuss issues... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I'm happy to discuss issues with actual people, instead of a broken record hooked up to a keyboard.

Hmmmthis passed...an... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Hmmm
this passed...and why not?
After all this year in Iraq has taken place as President Bush
predicted

"To establish its authority, the Iraqi government plans to take responsibility for security in all of Iraq's provinces by November. To give every Iraqi citizen a stake in the country's economy, Iraq will pass legislation to share oil revenues among all Iraqis. To show that it is committed to delivering a better life, the Iraqi government will spend $10 billion of its own money on reconstruction and infrastructure projects that will create new jobs. To empower local leaders, Iraqis plan to hold provincial elections later this year. And to allow more Iraqis to re-enter their nation's political life, the government will reform de-Baathification laws, and establish a fair process for considering amendments to Iraq's constitution."
---January 10...announcing the "Surge"

and the family and friends of the 14 KIA this month are less in their grief because there are
fewer KIA...

Just give it another..just give it another six months..we have turned the corner...again.

I'm happy to discuss issues... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

I'm happy to discuss issues with actual people, instead of a broken record hooked up to a keyboard.
------------------------------------
Another example of Mantis 's dishonest trademark of ad-hominen attack when running out of args. Not so happy when your "spin" is exposed.

Nogo, Thanks for pr... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

Nogo,
Thanks for proving that the dems are so despicable for giving Bush exactly what he wants using the liberal standard. So pick it up with the dems. Condemn them for their despicable cowardice from your liberal standpoint.

Someone needs to check Sena... (Below threshold)
914:

Someone needs to check Senator Reid to see if He was embalmed properly? cause He is dead from the neck up, yet still keeps talking.

This is just a reminder for... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica ImmigrantL:

This is just a reminder for the liberals who don't know that we are fighting AlQ in Iraq.

http://www.weeklystandard.com/Weblogs/TWSFP/TWSFPView.asp#3620
Col. Gibbs: Al Qaeda Defeated in Rashid

What is hilarious is that M... (Below threshold)
SPQR:

What is hilarious is that Mantis gives us this ludcrous excuse ... and ignores that 70 Senators voted for the funding. The Democrats feel their strategy blowing up in their faces.




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