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Hullabaloo


Thursday, June 11, 2009

 
Whip It Good

by digby

Most of you are probably aware of Jane Hamsher's whip operation to get the House to vote down the war supplemental, but if not, go over to FDL and check it out. She's trying to keep progressives who have previously voted against funding for Iraq to stay with the program now that it's a Democrat in the White House who is asking for the money. That's not easy, but she's making headway:

I just want to take a minute to thank everyone who is taking time out of their day to make calls and stand by their commitment to end the war. When I look over the lists and read about the thousands of calls people are making to the offices of members of congress, and I see people like Toby who called 25 offices in one day, it makes it all worthwhile.

We really appreciate the efforts of everyone who has called, and who continue to call. It's a highly fluid situation, and Rahm Emanuel is furiously horse trading for votes. Sources on the Hill say that they've never seen this kind of full-court press from the White House. Members are being bribed, bullied and cajoled into abandoning their commitment to vote against any war funding that doesn't include a time table to bring the troops home.

I've updated the Whip Tool to include the latest information we have on the vote count.

Please keep the calls coming.


Now, this is obviously about more than the war funding. If the administration hadn't put the IMF request in the war supplemental, Rahm wouldn't be having this problem. They want that money. Here's Mark Weisbrot of CEPR:

[A]s any Member of Congress or staff can tell you, the Administration attached the IMF money to the war supplemental because the chances of getting the House to vote for it on a straight up-or-down vote were slim to none. By attaching the IMF money, which has nothing to do with war spending, to this bill, the Administration was putting Members of Congress who want to vote against the IMF money in a position where they could be accused of “voting against money for the troops.”

It should be noted that there is no urgency for this money; the IMF has hundreds of billions of dollars available for any emergencies that might arise during the time it would take to approve this funding through a normal legislative process.

Read on for the full rundown of why this bail-out for European banks by the American taxpayer is such a bad idea that they had to attach it to a "support the troops" emergency supplemental in order to get it passed.

Jane is working to get progressives to stick to their guns on the war, which will make it much harder for the administration to pass their IMF bailout. I frankly didn't think there was much chance of getting these folks to do that but she's having surprising success. It's still a long shot, but not as long as it was a few days ago.

If you want to join in this effort, go over to FDL and use their handy whip tool. It's easy. Give Rahm some left-sided heartburn.


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