By Mary MacElveen
To end the war in Iraq; whatever happened to Senate Rule 22?
Wed Oct 3, 2007 15:59

To end the war in Iraq; whatever happened to Senate Rule 22?

By Mary MacElveen

October 3, 2007

Just when I think I have seen everything, Congressional Democrats did surprise me by passing the cost of this war onto every single taxpayer of this country by invoking a surcharge to pay for it.

As reported by the AP, this plan was “unveiled by Reps. David Obey, D-Wis., John Murtha, D-Pa., and Jim McGovern, D-Mass., would require low- and middle-income taxpayers to add 2 percent to their tax bill. Wealthier people would add a 12 to 15 percent surcharge, Obey said.”

Congressional Republicans must be laughing, but shouldn’t be saying to their constituents, “See the Democrats do want to raise your taxes.” I say, they shouldn’t be laughing is because they failed to hear the people who wanted an end to this bloody war and they lack the courage to do something about it. As some are distancing themselves from Bush, they are afraid of their own shadows as they rally around him by this continuous funding.

Both parties are failing our soldiers by funding this war. They are afraid of pulling the funding away from it and cite it would harm our soldier’s ability to fight this war. That is nonsense if you ask me. What is left of our broken army should come home now. In these past four years, our soldiers have given us their blood and all these elected officials will do is demand more of them to spill more.

I just want to add that middle-income voters, are tapped out and do not have that two percent the Democrats want. Do the above mentioned congress members want to see a copy of our property tax bills, our utility bills, and our food bills? We should gladly supply them with these copies. To every voter who voted for this change and are shaking their head at this tax surcharge to fund the war, start making copies of your bills and send them onto your congressional member. As for wealthier Americans, their accountants will go into overdrive to avoid this tax surcharge.

But, this move to invoke this surcharge to keep funding this war is all but a game. This is a dangerous game that continues to take the lives of our soldiers and innocent Iraqis.

All we need coming from the senate is for 41 brave senators to come forth invoking Senate rule 22.

As relayed to me by Ron Corvus, “it takes only 41 Senators to prevent any bill from coming to the floor of the Senate for a vote.Therefore, when Bush sends his war appropriations bill through the Senate, 41 Democratic Senators can invoke an automatic filibuster - Senate Rule 22 - thereby KILLING THE BILL! In other words, 41 Senate Democrats can completely cut funding to this war via cloture-proof automatic filibuster, thereby killing Bush's war funding bill. This is the same, routine tactic Senate Republicans used to defeat the Democrats' "non-binding resolution." In fact, Ron Corvus did launch Project Filibuster.

I find it interesting yet maddening when ‘we the people’ find roadmaps to end wars and yet those we elect ignore them.

In a statement which is up on former Senator Mike Gravel’s presidential web site, he cites, “I officially released the Pentagon Papers, and as a result, Richard Nixon sued me all the way to the Supreme Court. I successfully filibustered to force an end to the military draft. I filibustered alone and with others to end the appropriations for the Vietnam War. Those are my credentials. I’ve been there and know how hard it is to oppose the majority of your peers.”

According to Wikipedia, “In current practice, Senate Rule 22 permits filibusters, in which actual continuous floor speeches are not required, although the Senate Majority Leader may require an actual traditional filibuster if he or she so chooses. This threat of a filibuster can therefore be as powerful as an actual filibuster. Previously the filibustering senator(s) could delay voting only by making an endless speech. Currently they need only indicate that they are filibustering, thereby preventing the senate from moving on to other business until the motion is withdrawn or enough votes are gathered for cloture.”

In the last debate, the top-tier Democratic candidates, Clinton, Obama and Edwards pretty much acquiesced that we will be in Iraq till 2013 and it truly boggles the mind how former Senator, Mike Gravel is marginalized. Through his past service to this country, he proved that an unpopular war can be shut down.

In this feed, you will hear former Senator, Mike Gravel’s charge to Senators, Clinton, Obama, Dodd and Biden to end this war through cloture. NBC’s, Tim Russert asked if these senators should suspend their campaigns for 40 days to vote for cloture. Senator Gravel answered, “If it stops the killing, my God, then do it!” I happen to agree with Gravel that this would bring pressure to bear upon all who have failed to bring this war to an end.

Since the Democrats have a razor thin majority in the senate; couldn’t Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid find 41 senators to block the funding of this war? Why didn’t Senator Clinton or Senator Obama lead the fight for Senate Rule 22? I am singling them out since they are the Democratic front runners.

By invoking Senate Rule 22, the Democrats who were charged by ‘we the people’ to end this war can say that they indeed ended it by cutting off the funds. They can do this instead of invoking a war surcharge which I believe was only brought up to anger the voters. I have news for these congress members, our anger is already there.

But, alas, the Senate in their infinite wisdom voted to approve this $150 billion dollar war funding bill. As reported by the AP, senate Democrats lacked “the votes to pass legislation ordering troops home and are divided on whether to cut money for combat, despite a mandate by supporters to end the war.” While the senate Democrats hope for the “landscape to change in the coming months” one thing will not change is that our troops will continue to die along with innocent Iraqis. And we elect these senators, why?

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