On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Reichert Votes for More War, Against Troops

On Friday the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of HR 1591, an emergency supplemental appropriations for fiscal year ending September 30, 2007. The bill provided $124.3 billion in funding for the war and related needs, and set a withdrawal timetable for U.S. troops in Iraq.

My district's congressman, Dave Reichert, was undecided going into debate on the bill, so we're told. In his previous pattern of behavior, Reichert has been known to equivocate on contentious votes.

You should recall the supplemental budget bill that he voted for even though it contained provisions allowing for ANWR drilling. Later, in debates and radio interviews, Reichert explained that the way things work in Congress is that you vote for a bill and then go back and fix the things wrong with it in another bill. Perhaps this was a lesson he learned following the backlash following his ANWR vote.

On other votes Reichert has indicated that he had heard from constituents who were advocating for one position over another in overwhelming numbers. Based on this feedback he'd decided to vote as his constituents were urging him to. His seeming ability to be swayed up until a vote is also demonstrated in the tale that was told of how he came to vote in favor of embryonic stem cell research: his women staffers emotionally urged him to do so. After a collective cry session he voted for a bill he'd previously opposed a year before.

With that in mind I made sure that I emailed him with my own urging that he vote for this supplemental appropriations bill.

Unfortunately, when the voting took place, just as he did last month on the resolution against Bush's surge, Reichert once again sided with Bush, for the war, and against our troops and the bill.

Let's be clear on this: Reichert and Bush have taken the same position on this bill. Bush intends to veto the bill should it come to him for his signature. If he does so he will not receive the money he needs to wage his war. If he does so, he will be denying our troops and veterans funding they need to do their job. This is his decision, not the decision of his successor, as he'd prefer it to be. Reichert has decided that this is a war that he is willing to support regardless of how it has been executed, regardless of the toll on our troops, regardless of the cost to out country.

This war is on both of them.

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