Don't Let Congress Ratify Bush's Preemption..

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Posted by Tony from ( on Wednesday, October 09, 2002 at 4:24PM :

Don't Let Congress Ratify Bush's Preemption Doctrine


Call NOW to stop the President from getting a blank check from Congress and ensure a second vote by Congress before the President can launch a war on Iraq. For the House, urge your Representative to support the Spratt and Lee Amendments. In addition, encourage them to support a “motion to recommit” (see below for more information).

For the Senate, urge your Senators to support the Levin Amendment. You can reach your Representative and Senators via the Congressional switchboard at 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 or call toll-free 800-839-5276.

UPDATE: House of Representatives
The House of Representatives is in the midst of 17 hours of floor debate on the Bush-Gephardt War Resolution – H.J. Res. 114. That debate is expected to end sometime tomorrow. There will then be one hour of debate each on an amendment introduced by Rep. John Spratt (D-SC) and an amendment introduced by Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA).

The BUSH-GEPHARDT WAR RESOLUTION gives President Bush a blank check to skirt the Constitutional authority of Congress to declare war, and allows the President to act in violation of U.S. and International Law. IT CONSITUTES A CONGRESSIONAL ADOPTION OF THE BUSH PRE-EMPTION DOCTRINE. Urge your Representative to vote “No” to H.J. Res. 114.

The LEE AMENDMENT would urge the President to work “through the United Nations to seek to resolve the matter of ensuring that Iraq is not developing weapons of mass destruction..." through peaceful mechanism. It is important that we secure as many votes as possible for this amendment. Representatives who don't agree with us on this should still vote for the Lee Amendment as a symbolic gesture in support of the United Nations as the proper vehicle for securing a peaceful resolution to the Iraq crisis.

The SPRATT AMENDMENT will also reach the floor of the House and be debated tomorrow. This amendment to the Bush-Gephardt war resolution is the most important vote in the House against President Bush. Although it authorizes the use of United States armed forces, it does so ONLY pursuant to any UN Security Council resolution that provides for the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, and ballistic missiles with ranges exceeding 150 kilometers, and the means of producing such weapons and missiles. The Spratt amendment would mandate A SECOND VOTE IN CONGRESS, following the failure of the UN Security Council to adopt such as resolution, AND failure of the Council to sanction the use of force to compel Iraq's compliance. THIS SECOND VOTE IN CONGRESS WOULD BE REQUIRED BEFORE THE PRESIDENT COULD USE MILITARY FORCE.

The Spratt Amendment is being supported by an increasing number of House liberals and moderates alike who see it as the BEST CHANCE WE HAVE TO STOP BUSH. Therefore, any support for the Spratt amendment would be important. This amendment is not drafted the way we would draft it, but we need to secure as many votes as we can on Spratt to show the breadth of doubt and opposition to the peremptory approach of the president embodied in H.J.Res. 114.

A MOTION TO RECOMMIT -- At this writing it appears that those opposed to the Bush Resolution will have the opportunity to offer a Motion to Recommit. A “Yes” vote on the motion would send the President's resolution back to the committee of jurisdiction to ensure that Bush cannot go to war until he answers fundamental questions about long-term costs and consequences of an Iraq war to the U.S. economy and the stability of the Middle East. The point with this motion is that the President is asking to be given authority to go to war, before Congress and the American people have been given the answers they are demanding. (See previously distributed alert on “President Fails to Answer Basic Questions About Iraq War”).

Contact your Representatives and ask them to vote YES to the LEE and SPRATT AMENDMENTS and vote NO to the Bush-Gephardt War Resolution – H.J. Res. 114.

Click here to see summaries of the Lee and Spratt Amendments

UPDATE: Senate
If Sen. Daschle and Senate Democratic leaders cannot come to an agreement on the rules for debate by the end of today, then a cloture vote is likely. Cloture is a method of limiting debate or ending a filibuster in the Senate which takes at least 60 Senators. If a cloture vote carries, then it will deny Senators like Sen. Robert Byrd from filibustering. Thirty hours of floor debate is expected in the Senate, making an actual vote likely on Monday or Tuesday of next week.

The BUSH-LIEBERMAN WAR RESOLUTION is the Senate version of the Bush-Gephardt War Resolution.

The BIDEN-LUGAR AMENDMENT would authorize the use of force only to disarm Saddam Hussein, not depose him.

The LEVIN AMENDMENT, introduced by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), would curtail the broad powers provided by the Bush-Lieberman War Resolution by requiring the President to first secure a UN Security Council authorization of the use of force in Iraq.
It would require a second vote in the Senate pending action or inaction by the UN Security Council.

Senators should be urged to vote for the only resolution that would mandate a 2nd vote be taken before the President can launch a war against Iraq. Thus, urge your Senators to vote YES to the Levin Amendment and vote NO to the Bush-Lieberman War Resolution – S.J.Res.46.

Don’t give up! To resist is to win!

-- Tony
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