Rumblings up on Capitol Hill: Democratic leadership is worried they might not have the votes to pass the war supplemental. The House is due to vote on the emergency $96.7 billion dollar supplemental, which would fund the war in Afghanistan and Iraq through the next year, later this week. But opposition is possible from an unlikely place, House Republicans:
Republicans might attempt to provoke a partisan fight during floor debate over the future of the 241 detainees held at the military's detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. However, Democratic leaders could thwart GOP efforts to thrust Guantanamo into the spotlight by opting for a closed rule.
The bill does not contain the $80 million needed to close Guantanamo Bay, but Republicans are disconcerted because they tried several times without success to insert language into the bill which would keep detainees from being transferred to US soil.
Maybe I should call Rep. Dave Reichert (R - Parts of King County Dumb Enough to Vote for a Con) and ask him why he hates the troops. That would be fun.
For those of you going "Supplemental? What fucking supplemental?", David Waldman has an explanation for that:
Oh yeah, another thing. I'm sure many of you are wondering what ever happened to the whole, "we're not gonna do supplementals for the war anymore" thing. The wheels turn slowly in Washington. This is a supplemental for fiscal year 2009 (FY09), the regular appropriations bills for which were passed last year in the 110th Congress and under George W. Bush. The FY10 Defense Appropriations (and others which might include other bits of war-related funding) haven't been passed yet. So technically, we're still kind of operating under Bush budgeting until October 1, 2009, when the new fiscal year begins.
I know, I know.
And finally, for those of you looking for some sport: Remember that $870 million in flu pandemic preparedness the Senate "moderates" were so intent on cutting out of the stimulus (right before we confronted... a flu pandemic)?
This supplemental has $2 billion for it. Ha ha!
Gives you ideas, doesn't it? Every time the Cons cut funding for important stuff, include nearly three times that amount in an emergency war supplemental. Then distract them by trying to include money for closing Guantanamo. Brilliant. Especially since, if they try to cut this one, we now have a ready-made retort, inspired by their own bullshit: "Why do you want our troops to die of pandemic flu?"
I shall enjoy this entirely too much.