Maxine Waters on the phone now:
Synopsis of the bill: Supplemental includes some language that would require the President to provide appropriate support for troops.
The Blue Dogs insisted President should be able to waive the Murtha provisions (adequate supplies and leave time between deployments and adequate training).
This bill includes requirements of Iraqis and Bush, and sets benchmarks in order to determine how long we stay in Iraq.
This bill would force the Pres. to be out by Aug. 2008, at the latest. It requires a progress report by July, 2007. If the benchmarks are OK by Oct. 2007, we will stay in Iraq. If not, we would have to be out by Dec. 2007.
We would stay until next March if they are doing what we want.
The supplemental bill provides 1000 billion for the above.
24 billion of this is basically pork: the Blue Dogs were catered to with additional $$ for a variety of unrelated projects. Like spinach.
All the new people are voting for this bill. Even though many of them professed to be with the progressives, only TEN strong progressives are left.
The leadership have the votes--This morning, the Progressive Caucus released all of its Members to do what they want. Some will vote their conscience; most will vote with the majority.
Waters mentioned that the following Members are likely to vote no:
Rep. Waters went on to point out that they had lots of pressure from MoveOn.org. MoveOn claimed that 80% of their members supported voting for this bill.
Many on the call pointed out that this was a phony poll: a misrepresentation by MoveOn. Sue Udry pointed out that a minute number responded and Barbara Lee's amendment was not included in the question.
Some of the thinking behind voting FOR the supplemental: If we have to have supplemental monies and if that gave progressives too much, the Blue Dogs would turn and go with Republicans and give free rein to Bush.
At the Rules Committee last night: There were no votes supporting that the Lee Amendment be heard.
The vote will be tomorrow, debate tonight.
What we should do: Let them know about the bogus poll MoveOn did. Let MoveOn know that they should do another, more valid poll! email: email@example.com
Maxine: Remember that the people who got elected in 2006 are not grounded in progressive politics and are beholden to corporate support. One new Member had dinner with Maxine the night before last and toasted to being with the progressives. The next day this Member told her they were voting for the supplemental. Maxine said she is heart-broken. This has been a terribly difficult time for those who have worked so hard to end this war.
Many Members are saying they are not yet decided: Keith Ellison, for one. It is not too late to call!!
They are being told that this is the best we can get; that it's the first time there are target dates and this provides forward movement for Nancy Pelosi.
Discussion continues about what we can do to bring some pressure to bear on getting a deadline sooner. Raed Jarrar spoke on this call and said that the Iraqi people need to know that people do care and are willing to work to end this as soon as possible.
No matter what your Member is saying, please call and let them know if you want the Iraqi people and our children to know we mean what we said in November: we want OUT of this nightmare.