Votes, days tick away on Iraq bill

House Democratic leaders pressed undecided lawmakers yesterday to support the Iraq war supplemental spending bill, which House leaders expect to vote on this evening.   

But the House Rules Committee had not met by late yesterday afternoon, a clear indication that Democratic leaders do not yet have the votes to pass the bill. House rules require lawmakers to have 24 hours to read legislation before it is considered on the floor, so the later the Rules Committee meets, the later Thursday or possibly Friday the House would vote.

“We’re close, but not there yet,” a House Democratic leadership aide conceded.

Senior Democratic lawmakers predicted they would have the votes before going to the floor, but conceded that, like the previous Republican majority, they might have to proceed without the requisite number of votes already in the bag and hope that the act of voting would persuade lawmakers to support their leaders’ bill.

Anti-war liberals are not optimistic about defeating the $124 billion measure. “It probably will [pass],” said Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), the co-chairwoman of the Progressive Caucus and a founding member of the Out of Iraq Caucus. “If it goes to Rules they probably do have the votes.”

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.), the Democratic Caucus chairman, said, “Thursday or Friday, we’ll have the vote this week.”
The leadership’s vote round-up was given a boost this week by’s decision to back the bill, which gave liberal lawmakers cover, and by the support of former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.), who wrote in a letter to members of Congress, “This resolution provides a light at the end of the tunnel. It is not perfect, but it moves our national debate forward.”

Democratic leaders have held dozens of formal and informal meetings this week as they tried to get to 218 votes. President Jimmy Carter’s national security adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, encouraged House Democrats yesterday to support the supplemental spending bill.

Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) spoke to the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) yesterday to make the case for the supplemental. While most of the 21 members will probably vote for the supplemental, some are undecided.

The Massachusetts delegation met on Tuesday to discuss the supplemental, but two undecided lawmakers, Reps. James McGovern and Michael Capuano, did not attend. Despite the liberals’ glum forecast and consultations, getting to 218 votes is not going to be easy for leadership.

“This is not an issue where it’s going to be easy to move people [because it’s a question of what you believe],” Rep. Jim McDermottJim McDermottHouse passes bill exempting some from ObamaCare mandate Government to step in if insurance companies don't offer affordable health care choices Dems fear they made a mistake passing ObamaCare provision MORE (D-Wash.) said, adding that lawmakers who vote against the measure will survive politically.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) indicated to McDermott on Tuesday in a brief conversation that she would like him to support the measure. McDermott said he is undecided.

He was not the only one making up his mind, or playing coy about what he intended to do when the bill hit the floor. Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) said he had made up his mind, but he would not say which way. Freshman Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), who attended a press conference earlier this month with opponents of the supplemental, also told reporters he had made up his mind how he would vote, but he was not willing to tell.

“I’m not ready to discuss it,” he said. “I have made up my mind, but I’m still listening.”

Ellison told Brzezinski that voting for the bill is a vote for the war. Brzezinski replied that voting against the bill would continue the war and send the wrong message to the Iraqi government.

Some lawmakers were considering voting “present,” which would lower the vote total needed, meaning they wouldn’t be voting for the funding, but would still ease its passage.

“I’ve heard that there’s been some talk about that,” said Rep. Maurice Hinchey (D-N.Y.), a liberal member of both the Progressive and Out of Iraq caucuses. Woolsey said, “To me, ‘present’ is a non-vote.”

Rep. Jim MoranJim Moran10 races Democrats must win to take the House House Dem: Congress needs 'courage' to call for its own pay raise House may resume work on spending bills next week MORE (D-Va.) dismissed the idea, saying, “I don’t think that’s going to happen. Most of the people who are undecided are not wimps.”

Reps. Jo Ann Davis (R-Va.) and Paul Kanjorski (D-Pa.) are expected to miss the vote because of health reasons.
Hinchey also said members have been told that if the bill fails, Democratic leaders would submit a bill with the president’s request that would pass with the help of Republicans.

“If this doesn’t pass, whatever we do pass is going to be much weaker,” Hinchey said.

House GOP leaders sent a letter to Pelosi yesterday requesting that the supplemental be considered under an open rule and that the Speaker allow four days of debate.

Heidi Bruggink, Alex Harrison and Jackie Kucinich contributed to this report.

Progressives and Blue Dogs weigh in on war-funding bill

Yes or leaning yes
Neil Abercrombie (Hawaii)
Michael Arcuri (N.Y.)
Joe Baca (Calif.)
Melissa Bean (Ill.)
Nancy Boyda (Kan.)
Corrine BrownCorrine BrownInsiders dominate year of the outsider The Hill’s 12:30 Report Corrine Brown loses primary amid indictment MORE (Fla.)
Dennis Cardoza (Calif.)
Emanuel Cleaver (Mo.)
Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
Chet Edwards (Texas)
Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMusic streamer Spotify joins Gillibrand’s push for paid family leave Gillibrand proposes sexual assault reforms for Merchant Marine Academy Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs MORE (N.Y.)
Phil Hare (Ill.)
Tim Mahoney (Fla.) (leaning yes)
Mazie HironoMazie HironoDems up pressure on Wells Fargo executives Overnight Finance: Lawmakers float criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Scrutiny on Trump's Cuba dealings | Ryan warns of recession if no tax reform Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP MORE (Hawaii) (leaning yes)
Steve Kagen (Wis.)
Tom Lantos (Calif.)
John Larson (Conn.)
Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.)
Charlie Melancon (La.)
George Miller (Calif.)
Juanita Millender-McDonald (Calif.)
Chris MurphyChris MurphyPodesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs Dem senator calls for end of Saudi support in Yemen after funeral bombing Dems to McConnell: Pass 'clean' extension of Iran sanctions MORE (Conn.)
Patrick Murphy (Pa.)
Jerrold Nadler (N.Y.)
Donald Payne (N.J.)
John Salazar (Colo.)
Loretta Sanchez (Calif.)
Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)
David Scott (Ga.)
Joe Sestak (Pa.)
Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.)
Bennie Thompson (Miss.)
Tim Walz (Minn.)
Charlie Wilson (Ohio)
Al Wynn (Md.)

No or leaning no
Dan Boren (Okla.) (leaning no)
Keith Ellison (Minn.) (leaning no)
Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)
Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson-LeeDems hijack IRS hearing to ask about Trump’s taxes The Hill's 12:30 Report Why a new 'app' would be essential to public education in the fight against Zika MORE (Texas)
Barbara Lee (Calif.)
John Lewis (Ga.)
Jim Marshall (Ga.)
Pete Stark (Calif.)
Edolphus Towns (N.Y.)
Lynn Woolsey (Calif.)

Undecided/no comment
Tammy BaldwinTammy BaldwinGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Why Congress needs an openly atheist member, now Podesta floated Bill Gates, Bloomberg as possible Clinton VPs MORE (Wis.)
John BarrowJohn BarrowDem files Ethics complaint on Benghazi panel Barrow thanks staff in farewell speech The best and the worst of the midterms MORE (Ga.)
Sanford Bishop Jr. (Ga.)
Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
Mike Capuano (Mass.)
Julia Carson (Ind.)
Chris Carney (Pa.)
Jim Cooper (Tenn.)
Lacy Clay (Mo.)
Steve Cohen (Tenn.)
John Conyers Jr. (Mich.)
Henry Cuellar (Texas)
Elijah Cummings (Md.)
Danny Davis (Ill.)
Lincoln Davis (Tenn.)
William Delahunt (Mass.)
Lloyd Doggett (Texas)
Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyGreat Lakes senators seek boost for maritime system Liberal groups urge Schumer to reject Bayh for Banking gavel A dozen senators call for crackdown on Chinese steel MORE (Ind.)
Brad Ellsworth (Ind.)
Chaka Fattah (Pa.)
Bob Filner (Calif.
Barney Frank (Mass.)
Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)
John Hall (N.Y.)
Jane Harman (Calif.)
Stephanie Herseth (S.D.)
Baron Hill (Ind.)
Tim Holden (Pa.)
Rush Holt (N.J.)
William Jefferson (La.)
Eddie Bernice Johnson (Texas)
Hank Johnson (Ga.)
Ron KindRon KindRyan: Pacific deal can't be fixed in time for lame-duck vote House Democrat expects support to grow for Pacific trade deal Hatch: TPP deal can get done in lame-duck session MORE (Wis.)
Nick Lampson (Texas)
David Loebsack (Iowa)
Jim MathesonJim MathesonLobbying world House Dem donated K to freshman GOP lawmaker An election of choices MORE (Utah)
Doris Matsui (Calif.)
Jim McDermott (Wash.)
James McGovern (Mass.)
Mike McIntyre (N.C.)
Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Gwen MooreGwen MooreLawmakers mourn Gene Wilder’s death Wisconsin Dem calls for calm in wake of Milwaukee police shooting Dems to Obama: End citizenship rule for education programs MORE (Wis.)
Dennis Moore (Mo.)
Jim Oberstar (Minn.)
Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Charles Rangel (N.Y.)
Bobby Rush (Ill.)
Mike Ross (Ark.)
Linda Sanchez (Calif.)
Bobby ScottBobby ScottVA Dems jockey for Kaine's seat House votes to delay Obama's overtime rule Overnight Tech: Lawmakers, tech talk diversity | Group raises security worries over internet handoff | FCC commish wants probe into debate Wi-Fi MORE (Va.)
Heath Shuler (N.C.)
Hilda Solis (Calif.)
Zack Space (Ohio)
Stephanie Tubbs Jones (Ohio)
Gene Taylor (Miss.)
Mike Thompson (Calif.)
Nydia Velasquez (N.Y.)
Maxine Waters (Calif.)
Mel Watt (N.C.)
Henry Waxman (Calif.)
Peter WelchPeter WelchYahoo hack spurs push for legislation Retailers have jumped the shark EpiPen investigation shows need for greater pricing transparency, other reforms MORE (Vt.)