The Democrats’ House leadership was able to hold its members pretty much in line today, and managed a narrow 218-212 passage of its supplemental funding bill. We’ll check out the roll call vote later on.
Some observers wondered why the Republicans did not make a motion to recommit the bill. Minority Leader Boehner sends this explanation:
Republicans could have proposed a motion-to-recommit designed to cut both the Murtha-inspired “timeline for withdrawal” language and eliminating billions in unrelated spending. Ultimately, House Republican Leadership decided that providing Democrats an opportunity to vote for a motion to improve this fundamentally and fatally-flawed bill – before voting for final passage – would provide too many Democrats the rhetorical option to defend the indefensible. Some Democrats would have disengenously argued to the American people that they “tried to fix” the bill with such a vote, but “had” to vote for final passage.
Republican Leadership therefore decided that the Democrats – all Democrats, exclusively – should be held accountable for this inexcusable war supplemental. It sends the wrong message to our troops in harms way, sets timelines for withdrawal that increase the likelihood of their harm, and forces them to carry Democrat pork barrel spending to boot. No excuses for the voters back home – you are either for this bill or against it.
The Democrats had one choice on the floor – side with the troops or with General Pelosi. They chose the latter.
UPDATE: The roll call is here. Two Republicans voted for the bill; 14 Democrats voted against it. From a quick look, it appears they were mainly far left-wingers. Democrat Pete Stark courageously voted “present.”
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