True Majority.org – 2006-09-08 23:31:05
In just a few hours. TrueMajority members sent 30,000 messages to the Senate urging a “no confidence” vote in Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, the prime architect of our nation’s disastrous Iraq adventure. Senators debated the issue, all right, but then the Senate leadership used a parliamentary tactic to duck the vote entirely.
Even if they didn’t go on the record, we can still hold the Senate accountable.Look at the transcript of the debate (we’ve added in a handy search tool to easily find your senators’ words) and then call to let them know if you agree with what they said.
Call your Senators and let them know if you agree with their stand.
• Don’t let the Senate avoid going on record about Iraq and Donald Rumsfeld — let others know that the debate transcript is available online.
Matt Holland, Online Director, TrueMajority
See article below: “Senators Use Rumsfeld to Debate Iraq Policy”, San Francisco Chronicle, September 7, 2006.
AMENDMENT NO. 4904
Mr. President, I send this amendment to the desk.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the amendment.
The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:
The Senator from Nevada [Mr. REID], for himself, Mr. Durbin, Mrs. Boxer, Mrs. Feinstein, Mr. Bayh, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Lautenberg, Mr. Carper, Ms. Mikulski, Mr. Kerry, Mr. Schumer, Mr. Levin, Mr. Harkin, and Mrs. Clinton, proposes an amendment numbered 4904.
At the appropriate place insert the following:
Sense of the Senate on the Need for a New Direction in Iraq Policy and in the Civilian Leadership of the Department of Defense:
• 1. U.S. forces have served honorably and courageously in Iraq, with over 2,600 brave Americans having made the ultimate sacrifice and over 20,000 wounded.
• 2. The current “stay the course” policy in Iraq has made America less secure, reduced the readiness of our troops, and burdened America’s taxpayers with over $300 billion in additional debt.
• 3. With weekly attacks against American and Iraqi troops at their highest levels since the start of the war, and sectarian violence intensifying, it is clear that staying the course in Iraq is not a strategy for success.
Therefore it is the sense of the Senate that:
• 1. Our troops deserve and the American people expect the Bush Administration to provide competent civilian leadership and a true strategy for success in Iraq.
• 2. President Bush needs to change course in Iraq to provide a strategy for success. One indication of a change of course would be to replace the current Secretary of Defense
The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Alaska.
Mr. STEVENS. Mr. President, I raise a point of order against this resolution on the basis of precedent of the Senate of May 17, 2000. It is not appropriate to raise this amendment as a sense of the Senate on this bill.
The PRESIDING OFFICER. In the opinion of the Chair, the amendment is not germane. The amendment falls under the criteria of the Senate.
Senators Use Rumsfeld to Debate Iraq Policy
Over 4 hours of talk, but Democrats don’t get vote on call for defense secretary’s dismissal
“Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON, DC (September 7, 2006) — Democratic and Republican senators engaged Wednesday in a made-for-the-campaign debate over President Bush’s Iraq policy during a nonbinding Democratic resolution calling for the dismissal of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
But the outcome was known even before the start of the talking, which stretched more than four hours. The Senate’s Republican leaders said in advance that they would rule the minority’s resolution out of order as an amendment to a $468.4 billion military spending bill on the Senate floor.
With polls showing a majority of Americans opposed to the war that has killed more than 2,600 U.S. troops, Democrats believe their criticism of the president’s policy in Iraq will help them capture a majority in the House or the Senate in the Nov. 7 midterm elections.
During Wednesday’s debate, Democratic senators repeatedly called for changes in the war policy and in the Pentagon’s leadership, listed what they called Rumsfeld’s numerous mistakes prosecuting the war, and chastised their Republican colleagues for failing to oversee the Bush administration’s policy.
“What happened to the accountability in this administration?” asked Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the 2004 Democratic presidential nominee, who first called about three years ago for Bush to fire Rumsfeld. “In the place of accountability we have vicious partisan attacks on those who oppose administration policies.”
Republicans used the debate to paint Democrats as naive defeatists who would endanger the United States by abandoning Iraq. They accused the Democrats of pursuing Rumsfeld solely to score points with voters.
“They’re executing a political strategy, that being if you attack the secretary of defense you weaken the presidency and do better in the elections,” said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H.
“This is about fighting the policy of fighting those who want the United States of America extinguished from the face of the Earth.”
But Kerry and other Democrats highlighted Rumsfeld’s speech of two weeks ago in which he accused critics of the war of being guilty of the same kind of appeasement that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain used to try to satisfy Nazi leader Adolf Hitler before World War II.
“His speech was a low point,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “For all the hyperbole, we didn’t get new policies.”
Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., said: “The reason we’re having this debate isn’t because it’s an election year. … It’s because of how badly too much of our effort in that part of the world has been managed.”
Many Republican senators defended Rumsfeld. “He has been a very impressive secretary of defense. I can think of no one who has worked harder as secretary of defense,” said Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska.
“We have an outstanding secretary of defense, a man who has the confidence of the president, a man who listened to the generals,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala.
And even Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who has called on Rumsfeld to go, said the debate was misplaced.
“The president selects his team. That’s the result of elections,” he said.
The president and his spokesmen have been unwavering in their support for Rumsfeld. Still, a few Republican candidates have begun distancing themselves from the president’s Iraq policy and from Rumsfeld.
Democrats wanted a vote on the resolution to embarrass Republican senators who are fighting tough re-election contests. But the vote never came, when the amendment was ruled out of order, sparing those senators such as Jim Talent of Missouri, Mike DeWine of Ohio and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island from going on the record to back Rumsfeld.
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