In 5 steps, the House will approve war funding w/o ever approving it - Printable Version
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In 5 steps, the House will approve war funding w/o ever approving it - h3rm35 - 07-02-2010 04:26 AM
Thursday, July 01, 2010
One Big Mess
At the time I'm writing this, this is where we stand on the war supplemental votes happening tonight, from HuffPo Hill. (It's all subject to change or clarification.)
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.
The White House has threatened to veto the $75 billion supplemental spending bill if it includes an offset in the package that would cut funding from the Department of Education's Race to the Top program, part of the package of cuts Obey identified to pay for his amendment. "If the final bill presented to the President includes cuts to education reforms, the President's senior advisors would recommend a veto," reads the message from the White House. Well, it's gonna include it.
So Obama is threatening to veto his own war supplemental if it moves money from one education program to pay to keep teachers employed? Hookay.
Dday says, via email, that he suspects this is really just because the administration doesn't want to have to run the war funding back through the senate. Why they decided it made sense to issue a bizarre veto threat rather than negotiating it privately is anyone's guess. I suspect the whole damned town has gone nuts.
Especially when I read this:
In the House summary of the rule that governs tonight's war-funding vote is this gem: "Commits the House to vote on any Senate-passed recommendations of the bipartisan Fiscal Commission and that net savings from any Commission recommendations will go to deficit reduction."
I don't know whose vote that bought, but it was way too costly. In fact, I can't imagine that anything is worth that.