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Thread: What voting Democrats dont know about Iraq bill revealed

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    What voting Democrats dont know about Iraq bill revealed

    War bill includes tempting projects
    Democrats’ tactic poses dilemma for some lawmakers

    Updated: 40 minutes ago
    House Democratic leaders are offering billions in federal funds for lawmakers' pet projects large and small to secure enough votes this week to pass an Iraq funding bill that would end the war next year.

    So far, the projects -- which range from the reconstruction of New Orleans levees to the building of peanut storehouses in Georgia -- have had little impact on the tally. For a funding bill that establishes tough new readiness standards for deploying combat forces and sets an Aug. 31, 2008, deadline to bring the troops home, votes do not come cheap.

    But at least a few Republicans and conservative Democrats who otherwise would vote "no" remain undecided, as they ponder whether they can leave on the table millions of dollars for constituents by opposing the $124 billion war funding bill due for a vote on Thursday.

    She hates the games the Democrats are playing," said Guy Short, chief of staff to Rep. Marilyn Musgrave (R-Colo.), a staunch conservative who remains undecided, thanks to billions of dollars in the bill for drought relief and agriculture assistance. "But Representative Musgrave was just down in southeastern Colorado, talking to ranchers and farmers, and they desperately need this assistance."

    Democratic leaders say the domestic spending in the bill reflects the pent-up demand from lawmakers who last year could not win funding for programs that had bipartisan support such as disaster assistance.

    But in a formal veto statement last night, the White House denounced what it called "excessive and extraneous non-emergency spending." With unusually caustic and combative language, the statement dismissed provisions of the bill as "unconscionable," and said it "would place freedom and democracy in Iraq at grave risk" and "embolden our enemies."

    As the opposition heats up, the Democrats have had some successes in their furious search for support. Yesterday, MoveOn.org announced that with 85 percent of its members backing the bill, the liberal activist group will begin working for its passage. That could prove to be a major boost for Democratic leaders struggling to keep in line the most liberal wing of the party, which wants to cut off funds for the war by the end of this year.

    A few Republicans are at least considering a vote for the bill, including Reps. Wayne T. Gilchrest and Roscoe G. Bartlett of Maryland. Some conservative Democrats who had been expected to vote no on Thursday are wavering.

    Hurricane recovery, peanut storage
    To get them off the fence and on the bill, Democrats have a key weapon at their disposal: cold, hard cash. The bill contains billions for agriculture and drought relief, children's health care and Gulf Coast hurricane recovery.

    For Rep. Sam Farr (D-Calif.), there is $25 million for spinach growers hurt by last year's E. coli scare. For three conservative Democrats in Georgia, there is $75 million for peanut storage. For lawmakers from the bone-dry West, there is $500 million for wildfire suppression. An additional $120 million is earmarked for shrimp and Atlantic menhaden fishermen.

    So far, at least in public pronouncements, the $21 billion in funding beyond President Bush's request has earned Democrats nothing but scorn.

    For more than a year, Rep. Charles Boustany Jr. (R) has tried unsuccessfully to secure federal funds to prevent salt water from intruding on rice fields in his lowland Louisiana district. So it came as a surprise last week when Boustany found $15 million in the House's huge war spending bill for his rice farmers. He hadn't even asked that the bill include it.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Dreadnought,

    What is the link?

    I was just wondering if because of the Iraq War, every other project for the improvement of the US, itself, should be stopped!

    Or, if such projects that affect the daily lives of the people of the US is not stopped, would it be a trick being played by those who would also like the improvement in the US to continue alongside?

    The extreme views really is quite a surprising phenomena!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Ray,Sir
    IMO its nothing more then "political steerage" to gain support for the Dems cause. But note what it offers to Repubs home states if they vote the Dems way.

    IMO We are truelly a lost cause if we allow these people to dominate U.S. politics. It should be based upon values at hand not incentive to jump ship midcourse after taking your stand.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 20 Mar 07, at 15:54.
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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Dreadnought,

    What is the link?

    Is it a normal phenomenon in the US, that whenever there is a war, all projects that are essential for the improvement in the US is stopped?

    Rather queer, I must say.

    Further, what I find immensely amusing is that while the US gets so worked up on contrary views on issue affecting the popular views of the US public and rubbish them as 'conspiracy theories', yet when it comes to Democratic vs Republican matters, Americans find a conspiracy crawling out of all the woodwork in sight!

    Tails I win, Heads you Lose!


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Ray,Sir
    Its the Dems trying to get support to force the president to name a date to remove U.S. troops. Note they want to give to the Repubs home states without them asking for it. Especially aid after Katrinia. All for the price of jumping ship on their war votes and jumping the Democrats bandwagon to withdrawl troops. Ugly politics is what it sums up too. The Repubs want them to stay until we are finished there and the Dems are trying to force the presidents hand but he wont let them do it. And he is the Commander in Chief of all armed services. This is only the beginning of this game.

    They attached a large sum of money to his request in Congress in order to garnish support for the troops removal without/outside of his asking. So basically using the American taxpayer money to buy the Republicans vote on their (Dems)Iraq stance and give their homestates (Repubs) aid if they change their vote and back the Dems. I dont see this happening as we know the danger is far from non existent in those particular areas. Basically they are attempting to get certain Repubs to flip-flop their votes against what they originally voted for. The WOT.
    Last edited by Dreadnought; 20 Mar 07, at 16:14.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    Terrorist Victory in sight in Iraq?

    It looks like politicians in Washington DC are about to secure a terrorist victory in Iraq by forcing the withdrawal of US forces which is similar to what happened in Vietnam; where the heavily damaged and depleted Communist Vietnamese forces gained victory after the withdrawal of US forces. The President could veto this bill when it passes and still come up with the money to pay for Iraq by decommissioning forty one Naval warships and amphibious ships. (CVN-65, four Tarawa class LHA, six Austin class LPD and thirty Oliver Hazard Perry Class Frigates). The backlash that would occur in Congress over the decommissioning of these ships would probably be enough to hold off the wimpy Democrats for at least another six months to a year.
    Last edited by JMH; 20 Mar 07, at 16:48.

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    I wish we could have single-issue type appropriations, it would eliminate this nonsense. Why should Katrina relief be tied to defense spending?

    This has been a standard practice in Washington for far too long. Congresscritters who vote against the Iraq pullout will be tagged as "anti-Huricane relief". It's just a tactic to obfuscate the issue and hide it behind domestic pork-barrel programs.

    I hate this kind of legislation, because it spends tons of money on projects that otherwise wouldn't have a hope in hell. It's nothing more than vote-buying. If the Congress wants to spend the money on this stuff, it should fund it in a separate domestic spending bill, and leave the war out of it.

    This one definitely deserves a veto.
    "We will go through our federal budget – page by page, line by line – eliminating those programs we don’t need, and insisting that those we do operate in a sensible cost-effective way." -President Barack Obama 11/25/2008

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    Military Professional Ray's Avatar
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    Just to get the issue clear since I could not find it in the article and also because I don't know much about the Budget procedures of the US Congress.

    How is the normal projects connected to the Defence spending? Is there no specific Defence head in the Budget?


    "Some have learnt many Tricks of sly Evasion, Instead of Truth they use Equivocation, And eke it out with mental Reservation, Which is to good Men an Abomination."

    I don't have to attend every argument I'm invited to.

    HAKUNA MATATA

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    Defense Professional Dreadnought's Avatar
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    Sir,
    Thats not an easy explanation for myself. Perhaps others could explain a little clearer then myself.
    Fortitude.....The strength to persist...The courage to endure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Just to get the issue clear since I could not find it in the article and also because I don't know much about the Budget procedures of the US Congress.

    How is the normal projects connected to the Defence spending? Is there no specific Defence head in the Budget?
    Sir,

    The picture link that describes the process is for dumb people like me, whereas the link with the written process is for smart people like you

    http://www.senate.gov/~budget/republ...getprocess.pdf
    http://budget.senate.gov/democratic/...et_process.pdf
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray View Post
    Just to get the issue clear since I could not find it in the article and also because I don't know much about the Budget procedures of the US Congress.

    How is the normal projects connected to the Defence spending? Is there no specific Defence head in the Budget?
    Sir, they are not.

    The Congress controls the purse strings. It comes up with a spending bill every year to keep the bureaucracy moving. These bills need to be signed into law by the president so the money can be distributed. The president can only sign it or reject it. He has no say in what parts he wants and what parts he doesn't want.

    Here's where the game starts. Let's say a congressman wants to fund a project, like going to Mars. It's expensive. Not many people will want to side with him because there's nothing in it for them. So he crafts the bill in such a way that it also includes money for other congressmen's pet projects to secure their vote. In essence, he's buying votes. The old "I'll scratch your back if you scratch mine" trick.

    Democrats against the war has to fund the war. They can't just cut off funding because that will be extremely unpopular. So they fund the war. But they craft this spending bill in such a way that it includes languages to remove the troops by a certain date. To get other congressmen to support this bill, they also include money for their pet projects. See how the game works now?

    These pet projects are very important to the politicians because they secure money for their constituency. Money moves everything. It even buys elections.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Staff Emeritus Julie's Avatar
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    Why should Iraq, again the 5th year, get our billions, and our states get help with nothing? Come on, if we're going to build a nation, let's not forget the one we have our arses parked in as well.

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    Official Thread Jacker Senior Contributor gunnut's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Why should Iraq, again the 5th year, get our billions, and our states get help with nothing? Come on, if we're going to build a nation, let's not forget the one we have our arses parked in as well.
    That I do agree.

    I wish we can shift the tax burden from federal to state. Lower federal tax to 5% maybe 10% to pay for stuff reserved for the federal government as mentioned by the Constitution like national defense and the postal service. Let the states collect 25% income tax to pay for their own people. Some socialist states like NY and CA can collect more. Free states like NH can collect less. Then we as citizens have a choice to live at a place more in tune with our philosophy.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie View Post
    Why should Iraq, again the 5th year, get our billions, and our states get help with nothing? Come on, if we're going to build a nation, let's not forget the one we have our arses parked in as well.
    The most recent data I could find was from FY04, although I highly doubt that it's significantly changed. During FY04, over $2 trillion flowed to the states either directly or indirectly. Of that $2 trillion, nearly 1/4, or $449 billion were direct grants. Overall, federal money provides 30% of state revenues. Hardly "nothing" as you claim, and what is being spent on Iraq is very small relative to GDP, and small compared to what the states receive.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gunnut View Post
    I wish we can shift the tax burden from federal to state. Lower federal tax to 5% maybe 10% to pay for stuff reserved for the federal government as mentioned by the Constitution like national defense and the postal service. Let the states collect 25% income tax to pay for their own people. Some socialist states like NY and CA can collect more. Free states like NH can collect less. Then we as citizens have a choice to live at a place more in tune with our philosophy.
    A great plan. Too bad it will never be implemented.
    "So little pains do the vulgar take in the investigation of truth, accepting readily the first story that comes to hand." Thucydides 1.20.3

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