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Sen. Hagel [R] suggests impeachment as an option

by Ivan Seeking
Tags: hagel, impeachment, option, suggests
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Ivan Seeking
Mar31-07, 04:07 PM
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Special interest pork? As compared to the bridge to nowhere, I find that amusing. And we all know that this has nothing to do with so called pork. It is about setting limits. And as always, Bush insists on none.

The so called political angle is called checks and balances.
Mar31-07, 04:15 PM
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I'm talking about this bill. I don't support the bridge to nowhere and I'm not defending anyone. I just don't like the idea of our guys out there running out of bullets because the jerks in the Washington don't have a sense of priorities.

The war and whether we should be there and how long should not be mixed in with actually providing for the boys who are out there catching bullets and IED shrapnel.
Mar31-07, 05:21 PM
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Quote Quote by drankin View Post
Here is the question, IMO. Do we want to stop funds for the troops in Iraq? Obviously the dems are trying to use the desire for the pro-war folks to fund the war as a way to strong arm their own agenda as well as fund a bunch of special interest pork.

If this is stonewalled, how long until the troops begin to really suffer from lack of funds? Ammo, food, protective gear, fuel, medical equipment... This is where modern politics no longer allows us to complete any military action that we participate.

I think the dems need to use a political angle that doesn't affect the conditions of our troops who are down there risking their lives.
It works the other way around for the pork. The pork was tossed in to make it very hard for reluctant Congressmen to vote against the bill - i.e. some of the votes for the bill were bought. The bill wasn't run through as a way to fund a bunch of special interest pork.

None the less, I agree with your overall point. A more straight forward way of addressing the issue would be to rescind the authorization for force in Iraq. Theoretically, that would force Bush to withdraw within about six months.

In practice, it would create an interesting situation - if it had a chance of passing. Could Bush veto the bill to rescind authorization? Would there finally be a showdown on the President as CIC - Congress with authority to declare war issue?

A second way of dealing with the issue would be to set a fixed amount of funding for withdrawal with no additional forthcoming funds. Bush could use the money to withdraw troops or continue fighting until the money runs out, forcing another showdown further down the road. The most likely scenario would be a showdown when the money runs out. Whichever side is most willing to leave unsupplied troops in the field with no way home 'wins' the fight.

The current bill is fairly close to the second, but made a lot of compromises in order to pass. It's not as good as the first method and not even as good as the second, but it's as good as you get when you have to try and assemble a majority in Congress.

Bush can juggle things to keep the troops supplied in the field as long as he knows the money's coming eventually.

For one thing, military can't just quit when their paychecks stop coming. Government budget battles used to make military credit unions a near unanimous choice for military members - being designed for a military customer base and knowing the money would come eventually, the military credit unions just pretended the money did come and credited members' accounts even when budget battles postponed paychecks. Military members that used civilian banks were stuck between a rock and a hard place whenever budget battles delayed paychecks. It's been a long time (over 25 years, at least) since military paychecks have been stopped for budget battles, but civil service employees still get sent home without pay every decade or so because a particularly ferocious budget battle. Typically, the budget does get passed with a clause to pay civil service employees for the lost time, so, provided employees at least kept a little in the bank for hard times, a government shutdown turns into a paid vacation.

Having military forces fighting in Iraq with no paychecks would be huge symbolism for somebody. I'm not sure who would win. Would one of the sides win or would there be total disgust for both sides?
Mar31-07, 08:09 PM
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Good analysis Bob So what do you think will happen?
Mar31-07, 09:03 PM
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Someone pointed out that Bush never before in his 6+ years of office vetoed a spending/appropriations bill because of the pork - but then it was Republican pork organized by Tom Delay, Dennis Hastert et al.

I do agree that troops should not be held hostage or used a pawns. That is reprehensible.

In fact, I wish appropriations bill were simply that rather than the smorgasboard at the pig trough that they have become.

On the other hand, how much of the appropriations goes to the troops, and how much goes elsewhere?

Unfortunately, the war in Iraq and Afghanistan is funded on supplemental spending and is not considered part of the federal budget.
Apr1-07, 11:31 AM
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Quote Quote by Art View Post
Good analysis Bob So what do you think will happen?
Congress won't be able to hold supporters of a deadline together. I don't think it's a guarantee they'll even send a hard deadline to the President for a veto. The final bill will turn the deadlines into 'goals'. Goals can be ignored when the conditions to achieve those goals aren't met.

The only question mark is whether Congress holds together long enough to get a symbolic veto before settling for 'goals' instead of deadlines.

The advantage of getting goals accepted will be to increase the perception that the Iraq effort is failing - there's something concrete that the administration failed to achieve. It steps up the pressure for more change next election (notice the 'deadlines' all fall during the height of election season). It will be a lot easier for the next President to withdraw troops quickly.

The 'disadvantage', at least politically for the Democrats, is if the administration is able to show some real progress in Iraq that makes the goals look realistic, even if the administration doesn't meet those goals quite on time. Remember "Peace is at hand!" in the 1972 election.

There's hope and risk for both sides, so it makes for a realistic compromise.

Edit: Most polls seem to run in the high 50's for setting a deadline, so I think that increases the odds of at least forcing Bush to veto the bill. If it gets down to a choice of deadline or no funding, I think things get a lot dicier for Congress, which is why I just don't see a showdown getting too far.

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