ACTION ALERT: Vote this Week — Say No to Iraq War Money

December 17th, 2007 - by admin

Friends Committee on National Legislation – 2007-12-17 20:02:02

WASHINGTON (December 17, 2007) — This week, your senators will vote on whether the US should give the president another $70 billion to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no strings attached. Call your senators today and ask them to vote NO on more money for war.

• Take Action
Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for one of your senators. You can find out who your senators are on FCNL’s website if you don’t already know.

Here are talking points to help you with your call.

* My name is {name} and I’m calling from {city, state}
* I want the senator to vote NO on any amendment to the omnibus funding bill that would add more money for the war in Iraq.
* Thank you.

After you call one office, call the switchboard again and ask for your other senator.

Congress has the power to demand a new U.S. policy in Iraq if members exercise their power to control the way U.S. tax dollars are spent. But, so far, a majority in Congress has been content to cast symbolic votes against the current war policy and then write blank checks to keep the war going. Congress needs to stop voting more money for continuing the war.

Right now, Congress is working to pass the remaining bills to fund the U.S. government for the current fiscal year, which began October 1. Since Congress has run out of time to pass each bill individually, members have rolled them all into one large bill, called an omnibus. The House will vote on the omnibus early this week, and then the bill will go to the Senate for a vote.

The House bill doesn’t include more money to fight the Iraq war, but when the bill gets to the Senate, several senators have said they are planning to offer an amendment that would add as much as $70 billion to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no conditions about how that money could be used.

President Bush has threatened to veto the bill if there’s no money for Iraq included in it. If 51 senators vote against the amendment adding Iraq war funding to the bill, then the money will not be added. Call your senators today.

After you’ve called, consider scheduling a lobby visit with your representative in early January to urge her or him to support sensible legislation that would encourage diplomatic initiatives to end the war in Iraq and prevent a war with Iran.

Iraq: Money for Diplomacy, Not for War

Congress needs to stop voting more money for war in Iraq and start calling for a new, bipartisan diplomatic and political strategy that will ultimately lead to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

A first step that Congress could take right now would be to approve the New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act (H.R. 3797) which would require the administration to step up diplomatic efforts to resolve the conflict in Iraq and the region and provide regular reporting to Congress. Your letters and emails have already helped double the number of cosponsors for this legislation. But FCNL lobbyists calculate more cosponsors are still needed before this legislation will move to the floor of the House.

• Urge your representative to cosponsor
The New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq Act (H.R. 3797)
A Focused Movement to Change Policy

Supporting the New Diplomatic Offensive for Iraq legislation is part of a broader strategy to end the the U.S. war and military occupation of Iraq that will require congressional action, public education, protests, and public witness. Here is FCNL’s proposal for what you can do.

• Work around the country: Tell your members of Congress no more funding for the Iraq war and occupation.

• Make peace an election-year issue: Put up a War is Not the Answer sign and let all candidates know that you want them to end the war.

• Continue to work with Congress: Build support in Congress for a bipartisan policy based on internal reconciliation in Iraq, regional negotiations with all of Iraq’s neighbors, and U.S. commitment to a date certain for withdrawal.