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Webb Amendment Supported by Military Officers Association

Webb Amendment Supported by Military Officers Association updated & bumped from last night

BREAKING… Warner to join with McCain to offer a “sense of the Senate” in competition with Webb’s amendment, which actually has teeth. Bush pressed Warner hard on this, according to Webb. Think Progress has the news.


via C&L



“We haven’t found much movement in the Republicans. They seem to be sticking with the president.”Senator Harry Reid

Senator James Webb intends to reintroduce his Pro-Troops
Amendment on Responsible Deployment Cycles
tomorrow. Believe it or not the Republicans
are against it. Evidently they believe that if the troops want to come home
they’ll have to fight their way to get here. The implications are obvious. Republicans don’t believe our troops are doing the job so they’ll just have to suck it up until it’s done. The saddest part of this story is that former Navy secretary and retiring Senator John Warner may desert the troops and reverse himself on supporting the bill just when we thought things were looking good. Last time the bill got 56 votes. We’re so close.

Even SecDef Gates has encouraged
a veto of it if it passes. Mark Kleimen (h/t Digby) reminds us all of something very simple.


There’s been lots of hand-wringing about what Senate Democrats should do about Iraq, all of it premised on the idea that they need either a filibuster-proof (60-vote) majority or a veto-proof (67-vote) majority. To which I can only say, “Huh? Howzzat again?”

Anything that can be ridden on the Defense Appropriations bill (or on a continuing resolution) doesn’t need 60 votes in the Senate. It needs 51 votes in the Senate, or 218 in the House, that will stand firm.

Take, for example, the Webb Amendment, forbidding troops from being required to serve tours in Iraq longer than the spells between tours. If passed, it would force a troop drawdown by spring.

The Democrats should offer the Webb Amendment when the Defense Appropriation comes up. If the Republicans want to filibuster, fine. Don’t pull the amendment. Just let them keep filibustering. As long as the amendment is on the floor, there can be no vote on the bill itself. Keep calling cloture votes, one per day. After a few days, start asking how long the Republicans intend to withhold money to fund troops in the field in order to pursue their petty partisan agenda.

If the Republicans in the Senate hold firm, it’s their stubbornness that’s holding up the bill. If they fold, and the bill gets to the President’s desk and he vetoes it, then pass the same damned bill again. And start asking how long the President intends to block funding for troops in the field in order to pursue his petty partisan agenda. … ..

Iraq strategy for the Democrats

Webb’s legislation has been endorsed by the Military Officers Association of
America (MOAA). Not even an organization representing 368,000 officers is respected by Republicans anymore. Job one for them is saving Mr. Bush.


On behalf of the 368,000 I am writing to express MOAA’s support for your
amendment that would support our military men and women by establishing standards
for dwell time between consecutive operational deployments.

Even before September 11, 2001, our military leaders indicated that members
and families of all services were stretched thin in meeting deployments requirements.
The subsequent exponential growth of operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, compounded
by reluctance to grow our forces to meet requirements of an acknowledged “long
war,”
has placed extreme stress on active duty, Guard and Reserve
forces alike.

MOAA is very concerned that steps must be taken to protect our most precious
military asset – the all-volunteer force – from having to bear such a disproportionate
share of national wartime sacrifice. If we are not better stewards of our
troops and their families in the future than we have been in the recent past,
MOAA believes strongly that we will be putting the all-volunteer force at
unacceptable risk.

Letter of endorsement
from the Military Officers Association of America
(pdf)

See the highlighted section above? Bush and the Republicans have failed to
even understand the needs of our force structure, let alone begin to address
the challenges we face. Keep that in mind next time you hear a wingnut ranting Democrats don’t “support the troops.” So what are Republicans prepared to do now?

Nothing. Except block legislation that would at least make the mission meet
up with the force reality we face today. They’re telling the troops to just get over it and get with Bush’s program. You’re either with them or you’re against them. Well that cuts both ways.

Contact Congress. Right now Webb
doesn’t have the votes needed to pass this legislation, especially if Warner bolts. Time to ring some
bells. Here are the
direct lines to senators
. But the target list is as follows:


Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)
DC: 202-224-6665
Anchorage: 907-271-3735

George Voinovich (R-Ohio)
DC: (202) 224-3353
Cleveland: (216) 522-7095

Elizabeth Dole (R-North Carolina)
DC: 202-224-6342
Raleigh: 866-420-6083

John Warner (R-Virginia)
DC: (202) 224-2023
Roanoke: (540) 857-2676

Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
DC: 202-224-2541
Louisville: 502-82-6304

Arlen Specter (R-Pennsylvania)
DC: 202-224-4254
Harrisburg: (717) 782-3951

Bonus – Ask Harry Reid to “don’t let Republicans obstruct — make them
stand and filibuster”:

DC: 202-224-3542
Las Vegas: 702-388-5020

UPDATE: Read Christy, who has compiled a great post on the full blogosphere. Also, Webb’s Born Fighting group has an email feature you can utilize that’s terrific.

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