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December 07, 2007

Re: No permanent presence without Congress’s consent.

Right sentiment, though long-winded before they get around to one of the key points: the US cannot make such a commitment to another country without a treaty -- that's what a treaty is, is a contractual commitment between the countries.  A point they left out is that the only way to implement is through an appropriation for that purpose.  Such a commitment must be made by law (passed by congress and signed by the sitting president) and that under our constitution no military appropriations can be made for more than two years at a time.

Bush hopes to make this a fait accompli that would be “embarrassing” to congress to overturn.  Bush doesn't care about any “warnings” or advice from Congress -- he will ignore this.  Congressional strategy must be designed around that situation.  The people who need to get the message include especially the Iraqis so that they understand any agreement is provisional until taken to Congress for approval and funding.  Furthermore, congress would be well-advised to pass legislation that says no money shall be used for said purposes as a pre-emptive strike, not merely “remind” Bush that he “should” treat the congress as a co-equal branch.  Don't whine, show some spine.

Re: Webb: No permanent presence without Congress’s consent.:

Bush recently announced a new, “enduring” occupation of Iraq, to be implemented without Congress’ approval. Today, Sens. Jim Webb (D-VA), Bob Casey (D-PA), Robert Byrd (D-WV), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Carl Levin (D-MI) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) warned Bush against committing the U.S. to a long-term presence without congressional consent:


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