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Friday, September 21, 2007

Levin-Reed Bill... REJECTED

The Levin Reed amendment 2898, Purpose: To provide for a reduction and transition of United States forces in Iraq.

Vote Result: Rejected.

Roll Call can be found here. The vote was 47-47.


Sen Reed, Jack [RI] - 9/18/2007
Sen Smith, Gordon H. [OR] - 9/19/2007
Sen Hagel, Chuck [NE] - 9/19/2007
Sen Durbin, Richard [IL] - 9/19/2007
Sen Clinton, Hillary Rodham [NY] - 9/19/2007
Sen Snowe, Olympia J. [ME] - 9/19/2007

You can get the text of the amendment by going to this page and clicking on the "Page: S11802.


(a) Deadline for Commencement of Reduction.--The Secretary of Defense shall commence the reduction of the number of United States forces in Iraq not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(b) Implementation of Reduction Along With a Comprehensive Strategy.--The reduction of forces required by this section shall be implemented along with a comprehensive diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community for the purpose of working collectively to bring stability to Iraq. As part of this effort, the President shall direct the United States Special Representative to the United Nations to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to seek the appointment of an international mediator in Iraq, under the auspices of the United Nations Security Council, who has the authority of the international community to engage political, religious, ethnic and tribal leaders in Iraq in an inclusive political process.

(c) Limited Presence After Reduction and Transition.--After the conclusion of the reduction and transition of United States forces to a limited presence as required by this section, the Secretary of Defense may deploy or maintain members of the Armed Forces in Iraq only for the following missions:

(1) Protecting United States and Coalition personnel and infrastructure.

(2) Training, equipping, and providing logistic support to the Iraqi Security Forces.

(3) Engaging in targeted counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, al Qaeda affiliated groups, and other international terrorist organizations.

(d) Completion of Transition.--The Secretary of Defense shall complete the transition of United States forces to a limited presence and missions as described in subsection (c) by not later than nine months after the date of the enactment of this Act.

As we showed you yesterday, this is the latest in a series of amendments from the Democratic politicians that has failed this week.

The Webb amendment meant to slow bleed the military and force us into defeat in Iraq failed, the Feingold amendment meant to force us to withdraw and surrender, failed, and the Democratic politicians were forced to take a stand either with or against MoveOn which attacked General Petraeus', the commander on the ground in Ira and his credibility.

Links to the text and roll call votes are at each of those posts linked to above.

The headlines over at memeorandum show us that this is being talked about on both sides of the blogosphere.

Here are a few examples:

Politico with "Another Democratic Iraq amendment goes down" and "Sen. Dodd votes 'no' on Senate war bill".

Think Progress with "Breaking: Levin-Reed amendment fails".

The Swamp with "Bad week for Dems on the war". with "Moderates' Hope for Compromise on Iraq Fading as Reid Takes Hard Line"

It is worth repeating that all of these proposals were doomed from the start because even if the Senate could muster up the 60 votes needed to get past a filibuster, they certainly did not have the votes needed to override the guaranteed Presidential veto, and they knew it.

All these votes were meant to do was play a political game to appease their far left liberal base.

So, the complete week has been wasted on votes for amendments that everyone knew would never make it into law and people question why Congress has the lowest approval ratings in history?

Daily Kos actually has this right for a change when BarbinMD says:

The past few days haven't been kind to Senate Democrats. They had their asses handed to them on habeas corpus, the Webb dwell time amendment became a joke, and Feingold-Reid went down in flames, with each defeat prompting an, "oh well, let's move on."

The fact is the Democrats in the Senate and Congress took a very big risk. They went on their August recess betting against America and betting against Petraeus and betting against our military and assuming that over that recess Republicans would peel away and join them, and while they were away something happened, General Petraeus and our military started seeing success that even the Democratic politicians that returned from Iraq noticed and publicly stated.

Then General Petraeus testified and put the final nail in their coffins, because he was credible, he acknowledged all the challenges still ahead and the difficulties that face Iraq as well as stating the progress that has been made in every area where he has implemented his strategy.

MoveOn also helped by issuing an attack ad against the very General that was voted in unanimously 81-0 to lead our military in Iraq, and that helped because it united the Republicans even more and divided the Democratic politicians as was shown yesterday by a number of Democrats that voted to condemn that attack on General Petraeus.

The text of that amendment:

To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force--Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemns personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces.

Whereas the Senate unanimously confirmed General David H. Petraeus as Commanding General, Multi-National Force--Iraq, by a vote of 81-0 on January 26, 2007;

Whereas General Petraeus graduated first in his class at the United States Army Command and General Staff College;

Whereas General Petraeus earned Masters of Public Administration and Doctoral degrees in international relations from Princeton University;

Whereas General Petraeus has served multiple combat tours in Iraq, including command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during combat operations throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which tours included both major combat operations and subsequent stability and support operations;

Whereas General Petraeus supervised the development and crafting of the United States Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual based in large measure on his combat experience in Iraq, scholarly study, and other professional experiences;

Whereas General Petraeus has taken a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America;

Whereas during his 35-year career, General Petraeus has amassed a distinguished and unvarnished record of military service to the United States as recognized by his receipt of a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Superior Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and other awards and medals; and

Whereas a recent attack through a full-page advertisement in the New York Times by the liberal activist group,, impugns the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate--

(1) to reaffirm its support for all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, including General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force--Iraq;

(2) to strongly condemn any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces; and

(3) to specifically repudiate the unwarranted personal attack on General Petraeus by the liberal activist group

Do not get me wrong, this was a none binding "sense of the Senate", but what it did, effectively, is force all our politicians, on both sides of the aisle to denounce attacks against our military and the general that is leading them.

Although non binding, this did give our military a sense that our country is behind them, truly does support them and it lets them know that our politicians, at least the majority of them, will stand up and condemn anyone thats attacks them.

No matter what your position on the war itself, our troops that volunteer and put their lives on the line for this country and reenlist in record numbers, some three and four times, deserve to know that no matter what your position on the war itself, we are behind them, we support them.

The Cornyn amendment did that.

It also made it clear who would not condemn those that attack our generals and active military, it showed very clearly who does NOT support our troops.

25 politicians voted NAY, chose, voluntarily to not support our troops, chose voluntarily to not denounce anyone that attacks our military members, chose voluntarily to stand by instead of standing beside and behind our troops.

NAYs ---25
Akaka (D-HI)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Byrd (D-WV)
Clinton (D-NY)
Dodd (D-CT)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Levin (D-MI)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Murray (D-WA)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schumer (D-NY)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

Those are the 25 politicians that did not support our troops yesterday.

Make no mistake here, voting yea on that amendment yesterday in no way would have endorsed nor supported the war itself, all that vote did was express the sense of Senate to support our troops and their commander on the ground in Iraq, General Petraeus.

Now all Americans know who speaks about supporting our troops, but whose actions negate those empty words.

The reason the Democratic politicians are not winning these battles in the Senate is because they are not united behind our troops, we are, they are not united for victory in Iraq, we are, they are not offering an option for success, Petraeus is offering the best chance for that and we are united behind him, they are not, despite voting him into that job unanimously.

(Additional thought- I will point you to a letter written by Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, who was stationed in Ramadi, Iraq, and who died three days ago. He makes it very clear what effect our politicians and the non support they are showing our military as well as the anti-war protesters are having on our military. Read his letter for yourself and ask yourself: Am I one of these people he is talking about?

If your answer is yes- Shame on you.