Business As Usual on Capitol Hill

What does the new Democratic Majority in Congress mean for America? (See here) a Washington Post piece that seems to indicate it is going to just be "business as usual" up there on Capitol Hill.

This piece reports that Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are going to refuse to use their new power to influence how George Dubyah Bush fights his war.

As the WP piece reports:
With their new majorities, they have a bigger political megaphone and more ability to bring pressure to bear. At the same time, Pelosi and Reid have eschewed using the main legislative mechanism to change policy, namely cutting off funding for the war.

Or in other words, all we are going to see is lots of talk and little action.

Now I am a realist, it is highly doubtful that either leader could muster majorities that would be willing to cut off funding to the troops. Cutting the funding might be political suicide for most politicians. However that does not mean that NOTHING can be done.

What would I suggest? Fire a shot across conservatives' bow. Tell them bluntly that if they want to continue fighting this expensive war, that Democrats are going to change how we go about funding it.

George Dubyah Bush is going to be coming to Congress in March asking for a special appropriation to fund his war. All that has to happen is for the Democrat majority in the House of Representatives to tie into this special appropriation a roll back of George Dubyah Bush's precious tax cuts. You let those in favor of continuing the war know that if they want to continue on with it they are going to have to pay for it with hard earned tax dollars and that no longer will it be paid for with borrowed money.

Harry Reid will not even have to obtain a super majority to accomplish this in the Senate. If the Republicans dare to filibuster, then it will be they who are cutting off funding to the troops. Democrats will be willing to provide the troops with whatever they need, however their needs will be met with tax dollars instead of borrowed dollars.

Some conservatives will point out that the President is the one and only "Commander In Chief" and that only he gets to decide how the troops are used. I guess there is some truth to this statement, but then how about trying this statement on for size? While the President is in charge of the troops, it is Congress that gets to decide how we pay for what the President decides to do. Dubyah is not a dictator. He can not force Congress to enact legislation. Congress can force him to swallow hard as he decides to "Stay the course". He can continue his dirty little war if he wants, but he is will be forced to surrender his precious tax cuts in order to do it.

Democrats might not be able to force Dubyah to end the war, however they can make him and all of his conservative advisers "feel the pain" if he refuses to change course.

But I guess this is not what we are going to see happen. For all the good the Democrat majorities in Congress are going to do us, we might as well have continued on with the Republicans.


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