Reality-Based Legislation: House Dems Demand end of US War in Iraq in 08
The Democrats in Congress passed a supplemental funding bill for the Iraq War that included a demand that troops be withdrawn by August of 2008.
Contrary to what John McCain alleged, the bill does not micromanage the conduct of the war. It declines to continue funding it after a date certain. Congress has the right in the Constitution to control the purse strings, and no president can fight a war that Congress declines to fund (except by engaging in criminal embezzlement, as with Ronald Reagan and Iran-Contra).
Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution clearly says that Congress has the right
‘ To raise and support armies, but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years . . . ‘
The Founding Fathers did not want even so much as a standing army, much less a standing war. It was the clear intent of the Constitution that any funding for any military effort be strictly limited in time. The idea that Bush could take the country to war for 4 years and never face any Congressional scrutiny or limits on funding is wholly antithetical to the US constitution.
What Pelosi and the Democrats did is not only constitutionally permitted, it is required. That is why McCain and other opponents of the legislation are attempting to muddy the waters by claiming that it micromanages the war. If it did so, the legislature really would be treading on a prerogative of the president. But the Congress hasn’t said that the military should attack Ramadi on October 8. What it is saying, it has the right and duty to say.
The pro-war forces keep pretending that the November 2006 elections never happened, and that they haven’t lost both houses of Congress and that the American public doesn’t want an end to the war. The pretence is often weirdly allowed to stand by the corporate media. But here in Realityland, aka the blogosphere, we don’t have to play those games.