HousePutting aside his cries of the dreaded “partisanship” in the House (sure, it’s still going on to a degree and always will, but it’s only a “problem” if the Repugs are the minority) and this notion of training the Iraqi security forces (another shell game at this point as far as I’m concerned), I thought Mike Castle of Delaware had some good things to say about this bill here (happily separating himself from the “Joe-Pitts-head-in-the-sand” crowd for now…Pancake Joe did the right thing here, but he’ll revert to his typical form in a minute).
Iraq withdrawal reports. The House passed, 377-46, and sent to the Senate a bill requiring the administration to report quarterly to Congress on its military plan for pulling U.S. combat forces out of Iraq.
A yes vote was to pass HR 3087.
All Philadelphia-area representatives voted for the measure.
Update: Never mind on the Castle link - sorry I can't get it to work.
And by the way, I’m sure this will get vetoed also.
Blackwater oversight. The House passed, 389-30, and sent to the Senate a bill extending U.S. criminal jurisdiction to all of the government's private contractors overseas, not just those working for the military.And for the benefit of the life form taking up space as the rep from PA-16, please allow me to present this which explains why he could have phoned in a “yes” vote instead here if he had a clue.
A yes vote was to pass HR 2740.
Voting yes: Robert E. Andrews (D., N.J.), Robert A. Brady (D., Pa.), Michael N. Castle (R., Del.), Charles W. Dent (R., Pa.), Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), Tim Holden (D., Pa.), Frank A. LoBiondo (R., N.J.), Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), H. James Saxton (R., N.J.), Allyson Schwartz (D., Pa.), Joe Sestak (D., Pa.), Christopher H. Smith (R., N.J.).
Voting no: Joseph R. Pitts (R., Pa.).
Not voting: Jim Gerlach (R., Pa.).
Foreclosure tax help. The House passed, 386-27, and sent to the Senate a bill providing tax relief for those losing their homes in foreclosures.Here’s more; from this area, this bill was cosponsored by Allyson Schwartz, Rob Andrews, Chaka Fattah, and the great Rush Holt (and believe it or not, Repug Phil English from PA-03 actually signed on as a sponsor also – shocking!).
A yes vote was to pass HR 3648.
All Philadelphia-area representatives voted for the bill.
SenateI’m going to keep trying to find out who the three brave individuals are who tried to put the brakes on this nonsense (and yes, it’s nonsense to continue to fund war without end in Iraq), but for now, here is an excerpt from this story…
2008 defense budget. The Senate passed, 92-3, and sent to conference with the House a bill to authorize $649 billion for the military in 2008, including $127.5 billion for war in Afghanistan and Iraq and $24.6 billion for soldiers' health care.
A yes vote was to pass the bill.
Voting yes: Thomas Carper (D., Del.), Bob Casey (D., Pa.), Frank Lautenberg (D., N.J.), Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), Arlen Specter (R., Pa.).
Not voting: Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D., Del.)
Republicans predict the bill is on track to be vetoed by President Bush because it includes hate-crimes legislation by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass. The White House has said Kennedy's proposal, which would let federal law enforcement help states prosecute attacks on gays, is unnecessary.Oh, and by the way, Matthew Sheppard died nine years ago today, just to let you know.
Military recruiting. The Senate affirmed, 53-41, the military's lowering of recruitment standards to meet troop demands imposed by war in Iraq.The bottom line is that we’re now accepting more recruits with criminal records (here). Thanks, Arlen.
A yes vote was to support lower standards.
Voting yes: Specter.
Voting no: Casey, Carper, Lautenberg, Menendez.
Not voting: Biden.
And by the way, Inky, is it too much trouble to find out the roll call numbers here? It would actually make it less tedious for me to find out what’s going on, OK?
This week, the House took up bills on railroad safety and affordable housing; the Senate was in recess.