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March 28, 2007

Today In Please-For-The-Love-Of-God-Don't-Attack-Iran News

Sen. James Webb held a press conference yesterday at which he said his Iran amendment to the current Iraq spending bill—which declares Bush cannot attack Iran without congressional approval—will be voted on in "the next couple of days."

Now's the time to push the Senate to adopt this. Call your Senators before noon today (Capitol switchboard: 202 224 3121) and ask them to vote for the Webb amendment.

If you can get their staff to tell you how they plan to vote, report back to the organization Just Foreign Policy here. More background from Just Foreign Policy here.

Posted at March 28, 2007 09:37 AM | TrackBack

Jonathan, thanks so much for this notice. I just sent out an email alert to our local network. Yesterday I couldn't get an answer from Webb's staff on whether that was going to happen, or whether he was going to support keeping the Reid withdrawal timeline in the supplemental.

I'm very pleased that he did. Even though we're now headed to a "game of 'chicken'" with the dimwit Decider, it's one hell of a lot better to go in with withdrawal timelines in both chambers' versions of the bill.

All the better if the Webb amendment passes. Wonder which way Sen. Clinton will vote...

Posted by: Nell at March 28, 2007 11:45 AM

We're gonna NEED a very large army, soon.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at March 28, 2007 04:16 PM

I give up trying to follow what's happening in the Senate. They're voting on the supplemental right now. As far as I can tell, the Webb amendment on Iran was not offered. The Hagel-Webb-Reid amendment, which all three spoke for yesterday and which appeared to be a Senate version of the Murtha readiness requirements, has apparently not been brought to a vote (unless it somehow passed with a voice vote; unlikely).


Posted by: Nell at March 29, 2007 10:46 AM

Okay, update. I just talked with a staffer at the Council for a Livable World.

The Hagel-Webb-Reid amendment on readiness requirements was withdrawn shortly after the Senators' speeches on its behalf. Only Reid's office can really say why, but best guess is that the idea was not to slow the process down; the assessment appears to have been that that amendment would only peel off one or two more Republicans, at a cost of pissing off McConnell. I'm pretty sure the Reid-McConnell agreement before the supplemental was considered was based on a guarantee that there'd be a final vote by noon today. The rationalization is that those requirements are in the House version, so can be retained in the conference committee without a Senate vote.

The Webb Iran amendment was never offered, for the same reason. Pelosi and Reid are hinting at making the Webb language an amendment offered in both chambers to the 2008 spending bill, after the recess. So the calls that people made yesterday in response to your and many organizations' alerts aren't in vain; they help lay the groundwork for moving some votes when that amendment is offered.

The upcoming recess is an excellent time for people to stream into local Congressional and Senate offices to support the no-attack-on-Iran-without-a-vote amendment (and to oppose an attack on Iran). The Nimitz is leaving San Diego this week, will be most of the way to the Gulf by the time Congress reconvenes April 10, and the Eisenhower could linger until late April. It'll be a tense period.

Posted by: Nell at March 29, 2007 12:09 PM