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Obey the Man With the Purse

October 2, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

As Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, David Obey (D-WI) holds the purse strings for the Iraq War. This morning he announced that he will not release any more money for the war in Iraq unless the President is willing to meet Congress half way.

>In addition to the regular defense appropriation request of $463 billion, the President is asking Congress to appropriate an additional supplemental request of almost $200 billion – a blank check to finance U.S. activities in Iraq – and he clearly expects that request to be repeated for years to come.
>
>I would be more than willing to report out a supplemental meeting the President’s request if that request were made in support of a change in policy that would do three things.
>
>Establish as a goal the end of U.S. involvement in combat operations by January of 2009.
>
>Ensure that troops would have adequate time at home between deployments as outlined in the Murtha and Webb amendments.
>
>Demonstrate a determination to engage in an intensive, broad scale diplomatic offensive involving other countries in the region.
>
>But this policy does not do that. It simply borrows almost $200 billion to give to the Departments of State, Defense, Energy, and Justice with no change in sight.
>
>As Chairman of the Appropriations Committee I have absolutely no intention of reporting out of Committee anytime in this session of Congress any such request that simply serves to continue the status quo.

Each of these proposals has been approved by a majority of Congress in the past. The supplemental war funding bill that Congress approved last spring contained a firm troop withdrawal timeline. It was vetoed by President Bush and, in the end, Congress capitulated by passing a bill without restrictions. The Webb dwell time amendment, which states that troops can not be deployed unless they have been allowed at least as much downtime as the length of their previous deployment, has been voted on favorably by the Senate several times. It has received as many as 56 votes (out of 100), but never the 60 needed to overcome a Republican filibuster. Changes in diplomatic policy have also been voted on favorably by the Senate, but have never passed the 60-vote hurdle either.

In the same press conference, Obey announced his support for a surtax proposal of Jim McGovern’s (D-MA) that would help pay for the war, which costs $10 billion a month, while involving every U.S. citizen in sharing the sacrifices that are being made by our soldiers Iraq and the future generations whose policy priorities will be affected by the cost of the war.

>If the President really is concerned about stopping red ink, we are prepared to introduce legislation which will provide for a war surtax for that portion of military costs that are related to our military actions in Iraq.
>
>We are choosing not to offset costs associated with our efforts in Afghanistan, because we believe that those are legitimate, because our Afghanistan effort is aimed at eliminating the Taliban who gave shelter to al Qaeda, and that action will benefit future generations. But those future generations should not be saddled with paying for an ill advised war in Iraq that seems to be never ending.
>
>If this war is important enough to fight, then it ought to be important enough to pay for.
>
>We know that this proposal is going to be controversial – I don’t expect to get the support of our leadership or the support of our caucus at this point – but by putting together this bill we hope people will stop ignoring what this war is costing American taxpayers and call the President’s bluff on fiscal responsibility.

All th edetails of the surtax proposal aren’t available yet, but The Politico is reporting that it will be designed “to raise $140 billion to $150 billion annually, and would range from a 2% surtax on low-income Americans to as much as 15% for wealthy taxpayers.”

Obey’s announcements today coincide with a new Washington Post-ABC News poll that found that 70 percent of Americans want funding for the war to be reduced.

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Comments

  • DOUGLASFIELD 10/22/2008 7:36am

    JUDICIAL INJUSTICE$ BEING INFLICTED ON POORER AMERICAN$ NEED$….C*H*A*N*G*E……$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

    SENATOR OBAMA PLEASE LET THIS COUNTRIES VOTERS KNOW YOUR FEELINGS AND THOUGHTS ABOUT A NEEDED FUTURE REPAIR AND RENOVATION OF OUR BROKEN JUDICIAL SYSTEM THAT CONTINUES TO ALLOW THE EXECUTION’S OF EVEN POSSIBLE INNOCENT AMERICAN’S LIKE TROY DAVIS OF GEORGIA ?

    BEING THE WEALTHIEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD SENATOR OBAMA, DON’T WE NEED AS THE LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD TO BEGIN ONCE AGAIN TO RE-INVEST THE PROPER MONIE$ IN OUR OWN US JUDICIAL SYSTEM, ASSURING ALL OF OUR CITIZENS THEIR RIGHTS TO FAIR TRIALS WITH PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ???

    DOES GOD NEED TO LOBBY OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD ON BEHALF OF OUR poorer american’s SENATOR OBAMA,OR ARE YOU WATCHING OUT FOR THEM ?? ***OUR US CONGRESS CONTINUES TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS AMERICA ???

    • 700 BILLION $$$ AVAILABLE FOR US BAILOUT, & NO $$$ FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ?
      SENATOR OBAMA, THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM, AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN (501c3) U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

    LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA’S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

    WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??

    • WHEN GOD’S FACE BECAME VERY RED * THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????
    • INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS ! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

    WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY **** The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.

    WHERE ARE AMERICA’S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ???
    Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

    This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

    This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

    Sadly, the true US legal Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus with our US FEDERAL COURTS and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

    For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

    It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

    This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World! ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY !

    A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
    1) YAHOO 2) GOOGLE
    MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.

    • A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

    Someone please tell our US Congress that the GED degree that Manny Gonzales acquired in prison is not a LAW DEGREE !!!!!!

    lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com (424-247-2013)

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