Wednesday, June 17, 2009

"McDermott votes for war funding" (Updated)

UPDATE: Geov Parrish kindly responded to my question below:
The real reason: McDermott is a *very* close ally of Nancy Pelosi. No way he was going to buck her on this.

Going back, McD's oppositions to war have always been partisan. On the first Gulf War and then during Bushtime, he was great. And between those, he cheerled every one of Clinton's various interventions (Somalia, Haiti, bombing Iraq, Serbia).

I would have put a lot of money that he'd vote yes on this, even when people were putting him in the "leaning no" column. One of the reasons I think he's a lousy Congressperson even tho I like him personally and he usually votes well is that he's remarkably ineffective; and one of the many measures of this is that he's always been a partisan hack (politically speaking) and he STILL has always had remarkably little influence in his caucus relative to his seniority.
Joel Connelly:
Saying that President Obama "needs and deserves" support on the issue, liberal Seattle Rep. Jim McDermott on Tuesday voted in favor of a $106 billion bill to finance the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives with near-unanimous Republican opposition.
"I have always opposed the Iraq War and will never waiver in that opposition, but today I voted for the supplemental appropriation requested by the president," McDermott said in a statement.

"I did not arrive at this decision easily, but I did so because the President needs -- and deserves - our support on this issue.

"We voted for change last November and it rarely happens as quickly as we want, but we elected a man who opposed the war, but who inherited it when he became President. We owe President Obama a chance to lead America safely out of Iraq."

At the same time, McDermott warned that Afghanistan "could become another quagmire. We must not let that happen."

McDermott was a vocal opponent of the Iraq War from the time that the Bush Administration was ginning up its weapons-of-mass-destruction rationale for the 2003 invasion.

He went to Baghdad in the fall of 2002, and from Iraq's capital did a famous interview with ABC's "This Week" suggesting that the Bush Administration would lie to get the U.S. into war.

But McDermott's profile in Congress has changed. He became chairman of a key subcommittee on the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee when Democrats recaptured the House in 2006.

With Republican Rep. Jerry Weller of Illinois, McDermott coauthored and engineered passage of legislation reforming foster care in America.

He has been a significant player in health care legislation, twice visiting the White House to argue for the so-called "public option."

The war funding bill generated unexpected controversy.

Republicans almost always vote for war appropriations. But they balked at a
provision sending money to the International Monetary Fund to finance loans to poor countries.
About $80 billion from the bill will go to finance U.S. military operations in Iraq, which are shrinking, and the expanding American military commitment to Afghanistan.
Howie P.S.: Can anyone tell me the "real" reason?

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