The Obama administration and congressional leadership have packaged two bills together with the War Supplemental in an attempt to force passage but it seems their strategy is backfiring. Early this week, the Senate House Conference report will be issued and the members of the House will vote on the final language reported out. As of right now, the votes needed to pass the House aren’t there as individual congresspeople have serious objections to one or another piece of the package. From our calls so far, we’re finding that many “progressive” members are in the middle of deciding whether to compromise when they see the final language — yet each of the three should be a nonstarter for any members who have received our support or plan to ask for it in the future:
1- The Supplemental. Yet another blank check for war and occupation – and while our leadership in Congress refused to include an amendment from Rep. Jim McGovern merely asking for a report on an exit strategy by the end of the year, the Senate zipped through confirmation of General McChrystal to head up the Afghan effort with barely a whisper of concern over his command of torture forces like those who ran Camp Nama.
2- Graham Lieberman – make it possible for the administration to refuse to comply with FOIA requests to release the torture photos.
3- IMF funding – another bailout package without the proper controls to guarantee the funds aid the poorest countries and people most impacted by the economic crisis.
So we have a big ball of yes for war, no for torture accountability and bucks for big banks.
Now we could shake our heads and murmer something about “not the change…” but we have a better option – we can counter Rahm’s aggressive lobbying with some of our own. Already, we’re seeing signs that a number of members are willing to stand firm but we need your help to make sure more listen to their constituents and supporters and say No.
Tomorrow you can help to whip the vote – and Jane has put together the tools to do just that. Click here to see the list of members who need calls and then get calling!
We know that eventually the administration will find a way to fund the wars – but we have a unique chance over the next few days to make them take notice of our strong opposition and our intention to not back down, no matter who is in the White House.
Photo by Roebot