Saturday, July 14, 2007
Will the House GOP stay united?

The Hill reports that "House Republican leaders largely kept their party together on the issue of Iraq last night, with only four members breaking with their party to support a withdrawal of troops by April."  But will the House GOP stay united?

From The Hill:Reps. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) and John Duncan, Jr. (R-Tenn.) were the only new defectors though Duncan voted against the 2002 war authorization measure. The other two GOP members to vote with Democrats were Reps. Walter Jones (N.C.) and Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), who have consistently broken with their party on Iraq this year.

Ten Democrats, mostly conservatives, voted against the measure, which passed 223-201.

The lack of Republican defections meant the vote failed to live up to Democratic hopes to put additional pressure on President Bush on the war. That, for now, will be left to the Senate, where several Republicans have publicly broken with Bush in recent weeks and senators are to vote next week on a similar measure.

Republicans argued that Bush’s “surge” policy needed more time, at least until the top commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, reports in September. But Democrats argued Congress has given Bush too free a hand for too long.

“For those who would urge we wait until September, it’s been more than four years and more than half a trillion dollars,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.). “We have a responsibility to create a new direction.”

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Congress gave Bush the money for the surge only a few weeks ago.

“Just six weeks ago Congress voted to support General Petraeus and support our troops and their mission in Iraq. The general has only had all of his reinforcements in place for about three weeks and here we are 48 days later after we passed the funding resolutions having this silly debate that means nothing,” Boehner said.

The bill calls for withdrawal from Iraq to begin in 120 days and finish by April 1, 2008, leaving only enough troops to fight al Qaeda, train Iraqi troops and police and protect the troops performing those tasks.The Senate is having its own debate as well.  Next week will feature Iraq amendments that senators will offer to the pending defense policy bill, including one being developed by Republican John Warner (Va.) and our very own Dick Lugar.

It will be interesting to see how Lugar's proposal will impact the national debate as well as the sentiments among our Indiana congressional delegation.

Comments: (3)



Interesting to see that some of the stauchest anti-establishment conservatives are peeling away. Maybe their friend John Hostettler was right after all.

The better question is whether the house GOP *should* stay united in favor of Bush's position on the war, not whether it *will* stay united.

Why don't we give the troop surge a chance before we "change course?" Some of the troops are still getting there. How can it be a failure if we haven't even fully implemented it yet and seen the results?

Also, does it make anyone else nervous that we would be leaving such a small group of troops behind to fend for themselves? I have a feeling today's withdrawl will just be tomorrow's surge, so how about we just stay and get the job done right.