Monday, February 12, 2007

House Dems (Again) Break Promise; Refuse Open Debate on Iraq

The House Democrats came to power promising to restore openness and deliberation to the House of Representatives. It is amazing how swiftly and completely they have broken that promise.

I've chronicled how the Democrats have refused to allow discussion of Republican bills and amendments. Now as they prepare for a vote on the Iraq war, House Democrats want to make sure there's no honest debate, since they would probably lose. Rather, they're going to make sure that the House can debate only their proposal:

A House vote on Iraq this week will be limited to the question of supporting President Bush's troop escalation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Sunday.

Hoyer's comment drew a vehement objection from House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who said House Democrats had promised to allow a vote this week on a Republican alternative opposing a cutoff of money for the war.

Hoyer, D-Md., said such a vote would occur later.

"Live up to your word," Boehner told Hoyer. Democrats, Boehner said, "won't even let us have a substitute. ... Give us a vote this week."

Recall the reaction last week, when Senate Republicans voted to continue debating Iraq and the surge, rather than be railroaded into voting only on the one proposal Harry Reid wanted them to. This is a snapshot from memeorandum last Tuesday:

House Democrats are now making it clear, before the 'debate' ever starts, that they are going to block an open debate, and refuse to allow Republicans to present their side for discussion.

Do you expect to read a raft of headlines throughout the major media, criticizing Democrats for their cowardice?

Neither do I.

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