From Thursday’s World-Herald, the Iraq supplemental spending bill will include $3.7 billion in drought relief, which is sorely needed for the farmers of Nebraska. It also includes a timeline for withdrawal of American forces from Iraq.
But on a day where another Nebraska soldier was killed in Iraq, Nebraska’s Republican delegation is falling all over itself trying to explain why they will vote against the House bill.
The addition of $3.7 billion in drought relief makes it a thorny dilemma for first-term Rep. Adrian Smith, R-Neb., who represents drought-stricken areas of Nebraska’s heavily agricultural 3rd Congressional District.
“It’s a struggle,” Smith acknowledged Wednesday. “There’s no way around that.”
Drought relief is important, but Smith said he couldn’t support attempts by Congress to micromanage the war.
“Micromanage the war” of course, being Republicanspeak for “providing for the training and readiness of American troops,” and “providing a roadmap to get out of Iraq.” But at least Smith is honest that he’s going to vote against it simply because it takes a rational course of action in Iraq. Lee Terry complains about “unrelated spending,” but I guarantee you he had no problem with it when it was the Republicans attaching unrelated spending to military spending bills.
Jeff Fortenberry, though, takes the cake for disingenuous and ridiculous statements:
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, R-Neb. said he plans to vote against the war funding bill because it has become a “picnic basket” of unrelated matters.
“There’s no question that some farmers and ranchers have really suffered because of the multiyear drought,” he said.
“Putting in unrelated legislation is a strategic, political move by the Democratic leadership to make it more difficult for some members to vote against it, but there’s a principle here.”
A principle? Fortenberry has been a representative who has consistently lacked anything resembling principle during his two terms. A vote against an Iraq funding bill wasn’t so “principled” when it was the Democrats voting against it – for, among other things, a lack of proper equipment getting to the troops, and a lack of any accountability from this administration. I seem to recall a number of viscious attacks against John Kerry and John Edwards for voting against an Iraq supplemental back in 2004.
But, of course, they wanted to get us out of Iraq. That’s weak and unprincipled, clearly. The only principled stance, according to the Nebraska Republican delegation, is to support an indefinite occupation, more bloodshed, and continued failure in Iraq. “Stay the course,” ladies and gentlemen. It’s the only option they’ll accept. Even at the expense of Nebraska’s farmers. Even at the expense of Nebraska’s soldiers. Even at the expense of the American people.
Republicans in Congress are refusing to even begin debating withdrawal from Iraq. Out of blind loyalty to a failed Presidency, they are willing to send more and more men and women to die in Iraq. This dishonesty has gone on long enough. Nebraska deserves better.