Have I said recently how much I loves me some Feingold? This morning, Sen. Russ Feingold, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid have issued a statement that lets George Bush know in unmistakable terms that the days of the blank check are OVER:
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.
"I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold's important legislation," Reid said. "I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period."
That's right, George. You veto the funding bill, you get an even tougher bill. Bob Geiger has more...
At Salon (watch short ad for day pass), Russ Feingold tells the minority party to stop obfuscating behind the talking point of "supporting the troops," especially when their rhetoric was the exact opposite for the mission in Somalia in the '90s:
The debate about the Iraq war is the most important, and the most difficult, issue we face as a country. Any American, including any member of Congress, is entitled to support or oppose Congress' using its constitutional power to end our involvement in this disastrous war. But, in contrast to the 1993 debate about Somalia, today some wrongly suggest that ending funding for the Iraq war is tantamount to ending funding for the troops. That misleading argument makes it harder to have the thoughtful, responsible debate about the war that Congress and the American people so badly need.
Now is no time for phony arguments against ending funding for the Iraq war. There may be big differences between the military missions in Somalia and Iraq, but Congress' constitutional power to end a military mission hasn't changed, and neither has the fact that this power can be used without jeopardizing the safety of U.S. troops. As Congress debates Iraq -- and considers the new Feingold-Reid legislation -- we should remember Somalia, put false arguments aside, and have an open, honest debate about a war that drags on with no end in sight.