Thursday, May 24, 2007

Entire Oregon Delegation Votes Down Iraq Supplemental

Update, 430pm--
The funding bill passed, 280-142. The Democratic split was 86 for, 140 against. As noted below, all Oregon Democrats in the House voted no. 2nd District Rep. Greg Walden, of course, backed the President and voted for a summer of hundreds more dead Americans. The Senate may vote later today, perhaps tomorrow--watch to see how Gordo votes. If he goes along, we can clearly ignore his bullshit of the last 6 months--he's for the war.

Update, 7pm--
Ron Wyden makes it 5-for-5 among state Democrats by voting No on the Senate side. And Gordon Smith has eviscerated any pretension of being against the war, by voting to fund it indefinitely. Right on cue, DPO's Chair was on it:
“Oregonians have learned that Gordon Smith’s quotes don’t match his votes. Smith will talk to reporters night and day about his opposition to the war and the need for benchmarks. Then, in contrast to most of his state’s congressional delegation, he cowers to President Bush and his party and votes to continue the war, with no benchmarks. That’s not leadership and it doesn’t represent the will of Oregonians. That’s flip flopping cowardice.”
Good luck now, Gordo--you've fucked yourself.

[updated to note full confirmation of Hooley's vote...TJ]

After contacting the respective offices for David Wu, Earl Blumenauer, Peter DeFazio and Darlene Hooley, we're happy to report that all four appear slated to vote Nay on the Iraq Supplemental bill scheduled to come up today, based on the removal of binding withdrawal language.

From Earl's office we heard that "unless the bill is vastly different than we expect, Earl's planning on voting against it. The first two were difficult enough votes, but at least they brought us closer to ending the war." Staff from Wu and DeFazio's office were slightly less eloquent, but both confirmed their No vote premised on a lack of binding redeployment language. (The word from Hooley's office is a bit more cryptic; I've received what appears to be a No, but things are so rushed on The Hill today that staff haven't had the opportunity to flesh out that "No" from her, into something that broadly confirms a vote against funding without binding strings and withdrawal language. I'm having a hard time believing Darlene would end up being the only one to side with Greg Walden on this one, and it's getting late in the day out East, so I'm going to run with the "No" that I've gotten so far. Be warned that it's not rock solid info at this time.) And after a bit of a delay to fully confirm her position, we've also gotten definitive word that Hooley will complete the 0-4 sweep for Oregon Democrats.

The full bill, with the grafted-on minimum wage hike we've been waiting for since January and a compromise conference amendment on timber county payments (one year at $400m), is likely to pass. Leadership has anticipated a large defection from Democrats, particularly those who voted for the McGovern redeployment amendment a couple weeks ago (which all four Oregon Dem Reps did), and so has split the bill into the war funding side and the extra goodies side. Few in either party will have the courage to vote down both parts--meaning passage is nearly assured--so any Nay is one of conscience and symbolism. Still, it's an important vote of conscience: do you support unending war, or do you want it to stop?

And if you're wondering what will happen on the Senate, I'm awaiting confirmation from Wyden's office on his vote, but past history suggests he is a reliable Nay as well. Gordon Smith doesn't tell us shit beforehand, but the smart money is on passage for him, which will once again blow holes in his protestations about the war. Criminal or not, Smith is still aiding and abetting it. Remember that. Gordon Smith supports this war, and this President. Now go repeat it to someone you know.