When Senate leaders first announced their intention to revoke the 2002 Iraq war authorization, they said they planned to attach their legislation to a homeland security bill being debated this week. Thanks to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), who is the chairman of the homeland security committee, that apparently won’t be happening. CongressDaily reports:
Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairman Lieberman is making it clear he does not want Iraq-related amendments attached to a bill scheduled for floor action this week that would implement unfulfilled recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. Democratic leaders seemed inclined today to hold off introducing Iraq-related amendments to the bill, possibly to avoid upsetting Lieberman and moving him closer to switching party affiliations, which would swing the Senate back to GOP control.
One Democratic aide quoted by CongressDaily says it “depends on whether Republicans push to attach language supportive of President Bush’s so-called surge in U.S. troop strength in the most dangerous areas of Iraq. ‘The Democrats won’t [offer Iraq amendments] if Republicans don’t,‘ this aide said.” Aides to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin (D-MI) say they have not decided how to proceed with the Iraq proposals.
In a Wall Street Journal op-ed today, Lieberman expressed his desire not to have a debate over Iraq, saying “let us declare a truce in the Washington political war over Iraq until” the “end of summer.”
As Glenn Greenwald notes, Lieberman wrote “almost exactly the same op-ed, on the same Wall St. Journal page, more than a year ago,” in effect arguing “that it is therefore our duty as Americans (still) to keep our mouths shut and be led to Victory.”