Tuesday, June 27, 2006

What does Sweeney Really Support?

The bad news is that if you needed a minimum wage increase, John Sweeney (R-NY) would be sure to get headlines claiming he supports it while not showing up to vote in favor of it. (Typical.) The good news, if you only got $8 million and are waiting for that extra $2 million from Libya, he's there fighting for you.

Sweeney recently voted for a resolution on that pledged support for Bush's war policy and rejected setting a date for the withdrawal of U.S. forces in Iraq. The majority of Democrats voted against the bill.

The Washington Post noted that Democrats denounced the resolution as "political gamesmanship aimed at providing ammunition to use against them in November's midterm elections. They argued that the intent was to force lawmakers who oppose Bush's Iraq war policy to effectively cast a vote against winning the war on terrorism if they wanted to register their objections." Republicans held that the vote provided legitimate and necessary support for U.S. troops.

The resolution says that since the invasion of Iraq in 2003, "the terrorists have declared Iraq to be the central front in their war against all who oppose their ideology." It "honors the sacrifices" of U.S. and allied forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and "declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment" of U.S. troops from Iraq.

The language of the resolution relates the struggle against al-Qaeda and Islamic terrorism with the ongoing conflict in Iraq -- a connection President Bush has made in recent public speeches....

Most Democrats in the Senate supported one of two amendments which called for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The Levin (D-Mich) amendment had a larger number of Democrats voting for it with a single Republican, Lincoln Chafee (R-RI), but was defeated, 60-39. The proposal did not set a withdrawal deadline, but urged President Bush to start pulling U.S. forces out of Iraq this year. But the Republican majority prevented either of these from passing.

For more about Kirsten Gillibrand's Iraq Plan and Exit Strategy, go here.

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