GOP in the US Senate blocks rest leave for troops in Iraq

The republicans in the Senate are blocking an “Up & Down” vote on Senator Jim Webb’s bill to provide cycles of downtime for combat troops. There are multiple issues here. First, basically Jim Webb’s bill is supporting the current military policy to cycle troops in and out of combat and give them enough down time to recover and be useful in their roles. This policy comes from hundreds of years of military experience and NOT some political policy or political decision made by people who have never been in combat and have avoided combat at every chance. Therefore, those who vote against this bill are saying the military does not know how to manage their own troops. 

The second issue here is  the republicans are blocking the bill from coming to a “Up & Down” vote, basically threatening a “filibuster”. If I remember correctly these are the republicans that lost their minds over the democratic party threatening to filibuster last year and made statements that filibuster was unpatriotic. The republicans even threaten to destroy the filibuster option. Remember the “nuclear option”. Thank God they didn’t because they would have destroyed their most popular tool this session of congress. This is not the first time the GOP has used this tactic during this session of congress. As a matter of fact they have used it for almost every important bill that has come to the Senate. 

Why don’t the republican support the troops?

Third issue,  I called my republican senator, Mel Martinez, who voted against cloture to let the bill come to an “up and down” vote. When I confronted his office about his vote their first response was that Senator Martinez supported the president with his vote. When I asked them why Senator Martinez did not support the troop, they responded Senator Martinez supports the troops by supporting the president. Go figure?!?! I thought Mel Martinez was elected by the residents of Florida to represent the residents of Florida and not the president. According to recent polls more citizens support withdrawal of the troops than then do support the president on the war/occupation, so Martinez must be looking at different polls or talking to a selective percent of his constituents to think he is representing his constituents with this recent vote against cloture. Or maybe Martinez was elected by the president and that is who he believes he represents in the Senate. After all the president and him did spend a lot of time together during Martinez’s campaign for his seat in the Senate.

Call your  Senators and ask them how they voted on cloture to allow Jim Webb’s recent bill to support the troops come to an up and down vote. Their number is (202) 224-3121 just ask for your Senators office and they will connect you. If you do not know your Senators just tell them your State and they will connect you to your Senators.

GOP in the US Senate blocks rest leave for troops in Iraq | Click here to read the whole article
US Senate Republicans have blocked a proposal to give American troops in Iraq more rest from battle, as Democrats renewed their attempts to change President George W. Bush’s Iraq policy.
While the White House won this initial skirmish on a military policy bill, it lost the support of seven of Mr Bush’s fellow Republicans in the Senate’s vote on requiring minimum rest times between troop deployments.

Six of the seven Republicans who broke ranks are up for re-election next year.

Mr Bush faces another challenge on Thursday, this time in the House of Representatives.

Democratic leaders predicted they will pass a bill requiring the start of US combat troop withdrawals within four months and completing it by April 1, 2008.

“My main concern is the readiness of our U.S. military,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat who is pushing the legislation and thinks the long Iraq war is “draining” the army.

In March, the House passed a similar plan, which was not accepted by the Senate.

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