Iraq vote hangs by thread

Facing their first tight vote of the 110th Congress, House Democratic leaders yesterday were scrambling to convince rank-and-file members to back their carefully crafted war-funding legislation.

At least eight Democrats are planning to vote “no” on the Iraq supplemental, scheduled for a Thursday vote. Two more are “leaning no.” Meanwhile, there are over three dozen Democrats who are undecided, according to a survey conducted by The Hill.


The leadership can lose only 15 votes if Republicans stick together, giving leaders little room as they seek to balance the demands of liberals who want a fast withdrawal with those of conservative Democrats, who are wary of setting any kind of timetable for commanders in the field to follow.

Leadership aides say they are working hard to gain those votes.

“It’s crunch time,” said Kristie Greco, spokeswoman for House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.). “The vote last week in the Appropriations Committee was a strong indication of the momentum of this legislation, and we’re building on that.”
While 17 House Republicans voted against President Bush’s troop surge, fewer than 10 are expected to vote for the pending appropriations measure. Republicans who are possible defectors include Reps. Wayne Gilchrest (Md.) and Walter Jones (N.C.).

Democratic leaders got a huge boost yesterday when decided to support the bill after seeking input from their leaders in a blast e-mail.

 Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who is a Ways and Means subcommittee chairman, said during a speech in his district over the weekend that he plans to vote no along with a group of 20 other Democrats, according to The Argus newspaper of Fremont, Calif.

“The best way to keep [the troops] safe is to bring them home,” Stark said. “It’s difficult to oppose [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). She’s a great leader and working wonders to get this passed, but some things I can’t vote for.”

He added that if the resolution fails, “It won’t look good, like the Democrats can’t get their act together, but that’s OK. We can write a better bill.”

Other lawmakers from Pelosi’s state of California are planning to buck leadership on the funding measure, including Reps. Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, and perhaps Maxine Waters.

There’s been no decision on what amendments, if any, will be allowed on the floor. Last week, Republicans argued in favor of allowing amendments, noting that appropriations bills are usually open to amendments and that the bill wouldn’t just pay for government operations but makes a substantial policy statement.

The Rules Committee is expected to meet tomorrow, but no decision has been made on whether amendments will be  allowed.

“That’s still to be determined,” said committee spokesman John Santore. “People are waiting to see what amendments will be offered.”

Both parties used yesterday’s fourth anniversary of the 2003 Iraq invasion to make their policy points.

Making a statement in the Roosevelt Room, President Bush criticized the Democrats’ plan.

“They have a responsibility to pass a clean bill that does not use funding for our troops as leverage to get special interest spending for their districts,” Bush said. “And they have a responsibility to get this bill to my desk without strings and without delay.”

White House spokesman Tony Snow later added: “What he’s saying is that if they attach strings, he will veto it.”

Democrats stressed their point that the president and his war plans have lost the confidence of the country.

“The American people have lost confidence in President Bush’s plan for a war without end in Iraq. That failed approach has been rejected by the voters in our nation, and it will be rejected by the Congress,” Pelosi said.
Heidi Bruggink and Stacey Pistritto 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.)
Melissa Bean (Ill.)
Nancy Boyda (Kan.)
Dennis Cardoza (Calif.)
Peter DeFazio (Ore.)
Chet Edwards (Texas)
Kirsten GillibrandKirsten Elizabeth GillibrandGillibrand: Rosy economic outlook not 'reflected in everyday, kitchen-table issues families are facing' Chris Wallace becomes Trump era's 'equal opportunity inquisitor' Steve King to Gillibrand: Odds of me resigning same as yours of winning presidential nomination MORE (N.Y.)
Phil Hare (Ill.)
Tim Mahoney (Fla.) (leaning yes)
Mazie HironoMazie Keiko HironoDemocratic senator on possibility of Trump standing up to the NRA: 'That's just such BS' Schumer to Trump: Demand McConnell hold vote on background check bill Graham moves controversial asylum bill through panel; Democrats charge he's broken the rules MORE (Hawaii) (leaning yes)
Steve Kagen (Wis.)
Tom Lantos (Calif.)
John Larson (Conn.)
Carolyn Maloney (N.Y.)
George Miller (Calif.)
Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyOvernight Defense: US, Russia tensions grow over nuclear arms | Highlights from Esper's Asia trip | Trump strikes neutral tone on Hong Kong protests | General orders ethics review of special forces White House eyes September action plan for gun proposals Trump phoned Democratic senator to talk gun control MORE (Conn.)
Patrick Murphy (Pa.)
Donald Payne (N.J.)
John Salazar (Colo.)
Jan Schakowsky (Ill.)
David Scott (Ga.)
Joe Sestak (Pa.)
Carol Shea-Porter (N.H.)
Tim Walz (Minn.)
Charlie Wilson (Ohio)

No or leaning no
Dan Boren (Okla.) (leaning no)
Danny Davis (Ill.) (leaning no)
Keith Ellison (Minn.) (leaning no)
Dennis Kucinich (Ohio)
Sheila Jackson LeeSheila Jackson LeeJackson Lee: 'Racism is a national security threat' Most oppose cash reparations for slavery: poll Poll: Most Americans oppose reparations 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 Suzanne BaldwinTrade wars and the over-valued dollar Overnight Health Care: Senate panel advances drug pricing bill amid GOP blowback | House panel grills Juul executives | Trump gives boost to state drug import plans | Officials say new migrant kids' shelter to remain open but empty Senators vow to bring transparency to drug pricing MORE (Wis.)
John BarrowJohn Jenkins BarrowRepublican wins Georgia secretary of state runoff to replace Kemp The most important runoff election is one you probably never heard of Our democracy can’t afford to cut legal aid services from the budget MORE (Ga.)
Sanford Bishop Jr.Sanford Dixon BishopCBC dislikes Jarrett's message Administration courts CBC on Syria With eye on ending Hill gridlock, 81 lawmakers rally to back bipartisan bills MORE (Ga.)
Leonard Boswell (Iowa)
Chris Carney (Pa.)
Jim Cooper (Tenn.)
Lacy Clay (Mo.)
Steve Cohen (Tenn.)*
Elijah Cummings (Md.)
Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyLobbying world Trump nominees meet fiercest opposition from Warren, Sanders, Gillibrand GOP frets over nightmare scenario for Senate primaries MORE (Ind.)
Brad Ellsworth (Ind.)
Raúl Grijalva (Ariz.)*
John Hall (N.Y.)
Stephanie Herseth (S.D.)
Baron Hill (Ind.)
Rush Holt (N.J.)
Hank Johnson (Ga.)
Ron KindRonald (Ron) James KindProtect American patients and innovation from a harmful MedTech Tax increase We should repeal the medical device tax on veterans House panel approves bills on tax extenders, expanding tax credits MORE (Wis.)
Nick Lampson (Texas)
Jim MathesonJames (Jim) David MathesonTrump EPA eases standards for coal ash disposal Utah redistricting reform measure likely to qualify for ballot Trump's budget targets affordable, reliable power MORE (Utah)
Doris Matsui (Calif.)
James McGovern (Mass.)
Jerry McNerney (Calif.)
Gwen MooreGwen Sophia MooreHouse Democrat offers bill to let students with pot conviction retain federal aid House approves bill raising minimum wage to per hour Here are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment MORE (Wis.)
Jim Oberstar (Minn.)
Collin Peterson (Minn.)
Bobby Rush (Ill.)
Mike Ross (Ark.)
Linda Sanchez (Calif.)
Heath Shuler (N.C.)
Hilda Solis (Calif.)
Zack Space (Ohio)
Gene Taylor (Miss.)
Maxine Waters (Calif.)*
Peter WelchPeter Francis WelchOvernight Health Care: Oversight chair plans to call drug executives to testify on costs | Biden airs anti-'Medicare for All' video | House panel claims Juul deliberately targeted kids Mueller agrees investigation did not 'fail to turn up evidence of conspiracy' Live coverage: Mueller testifies before Congress MORE (Vt.)

* Scheduled to attend anti-war rally tomorrow on Capitol Hill

Culled from media accounts and interviews with lawmakers and aides