Tag Archives: supplemental funding bill

“Jane Harman Hasn’t Changed”

That’s what her campaign manager told me just a month ago, after I gave him numerous chances to concede that she’s a more progressive Congresswoman now than she was before she was subject to a primary from Marcy Winograd.  But after today’s events, where she not only voted against the supplemental bill, but was one of only seven Democrats, along with McNerney and Stark, to vote against accepting the rules for debate, a vote which came tantalizingly close to failing (216-201).

This is clearly a long way from the person who called herself “the best Republican in the Democratic Party.”  But it’s been a year-long evolution for Harman.  It’s not only Iraq; she’s introduced legislation to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, has called to put the Iraq war on budget, and done several other good works of which progressives can be proud.

This was also personal.  Harman’s constituent, Pfc. Joseph Anzack, was found floating in the Euphrates River yesterday, one of the three soldiers taken prisoner by insurgents that sadly turned up dead.  Her statement on that tragedy is here.

Today is a shitty day.  The war is now essentially funded until the end of Bush’s tenure (the supplemental covers to September, but the defense appropriation for FY2008 then kicks in to carry well into next year).  The Democratic leadership gave Bush the ability to use critical funding money as leverage to force the Iraqis to pass an oil law that privatizes the entire industry for the benefit of multinationals (that benchmark, I can assure you, won’t be waived).  The leadership played a good hand in the worst way possible, dissipating the goodwill of the American people and showing through their actions the lack of any capacity to lead.  We can only take solace in the efforts of the rank and file to deliver a strong “no” message.  And Jane Harman, given the fact that she most certainly has changed in myriad ways, is the best embodiment of that we have in Congress.  (By the way, PRIMARIES MATTER!!!)


Calls vote a referendum on this President’s failure to listen; says claims that troops will be under-funded are “rubbish”

Today, Representative Jane Harman (D-Venice) issued the following statement after her vote against the Iraq Supplemental Appropriations bill:

“Last weekend, I made my fourth visit to Iraq.  Each time, despite the extraordinary dedication and effort of US and Iraqi soldiers, the country has seemed less secure.  I stayed overnight inside Baghdad’s Green Zone in one of the trailer pods used by most Americans there.  A day later I learned that a nearby pod had been totally destroyed by an RPG launched into the Zone in broad daylight.

“In Ramadi in Anbar Province commanders on the ground described real security improvements, but our group still needed full body armor to walk down the main shopping street, and I remain unpersuaded that our combat mission can succeed.  The time has come for it to end.  We must redeploy out of Iraq.

“Today’s vote offers two unsatisfactory choices. 

“A `yes’ vote affirms funding for the troops and benchmarks, but fails to impose a responsible end to the combat mission.

“A `no’ vote will be manipulated to tell the troops I flew with on a C-130 just days ago that we are not sending the new anti-IED vehicles (MRAPs) and other support they so desperately need.  Rubbish.  Today’s vote is not about that.  General Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker will make certain that essential equipment arrives.

“Today’s vote must be seen as a referendum on this President’s refusal to listen to a majority of Americans and a majority of Congress, who want him to end the combat mission and implement the Iraq Study Group’s recommendations on training, counter-insurgency, and enhanced diplomatic and economic efforts in the region.

“I support our troops and I refuse to be manipulated.  My `no’ vote on the Iraq Supplemental is a vote to move past the fractured politics on Iraq and restore some sanity and bipartisanship as Congress confronts the serious threats of the 21st century.”