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Rep. Jim McGovern Urges Colleagues to Vote No on War Escalation Funds

Congressman Jim McGovern (D., Mass.), the second ranking Democrat on the House Rules Committee, urged his colleagues to vote No on the upcoming supplemental to fund an escalation of war in Afghanistan with $33 billion.

Speaking on a podcast produced by Progressive Democrats of America, McGovern said, "In order to be able to fund the surge that the president requested a few months ago, there's going to need to be an emergency supplemental appropriations bill, and we expect that in the next couple of months. A couple of things that we're trying to get is first a separate vote on the Afghan war funding, versus all the other stuff in the supplemental, so there's an up or down vote on the war funding."

Asked whether he supported No votes on the funding for the escalation, regardless of whether other measures were included in the bill, McGovern said, "The bigger that No vote is, the more pressure on the White House there will be to change our policy. You know, the bigger that No vote is, the more pressure there's going to be on leaders here in Congress to pressure the White House to change our policy."

National Director of PDA, Tim Carpenter, noted: "There will also, of course, be more pressure on every other member of Congress to join those voting No, which could ultimately lead to a denial of funds for more war, regardless of the president's preference."

McGovern went on to explain his opposition to the escalation and to continuing the war at all: "I've worried from the very beginning that the war in Afghanistan is a war that has no end. And if you read some of the recent reports, you know, our military, which is the finest in the world, will win every military battle. But then when it's time for the Afghans to take over, they go into these villages that we supposedly have liberated from the Taliban, and then they go in and they loot all the homes and small businesses there, which means we have to go back and pay these people off again, and then when we leave the Afghan army leaves, and the Taliban goes back in. So we're going around in circles here. So this is a war that nobody quite knows how to define what victory is. This is a war that will go on forever. And this is a war that will bankrupt us. So it is important to urge your member of Congress to vote No on the supplemental. It is important to send that signal, because if we don't, you know, we're going to be having this conversation 10 years from now. . . . The more the pressure on the member of Congress the more likely they're going to vote No on the supplemental."

The full audio of this podcast is available online:  http://blog.pdamerica.org/2010/04/the-agitator-voices-of-pda-episode-6

Progressive Democrats of America was founded in 2004 to transform the Democratic Party and our country. We seek to build a party and government controlled by citizens, not corporate elites--with policies that serve the broad public interest, not just private interests. PDA is a grassroots PAC operating inside the Democratic Party, and outside in movements for peace and justice. Our inside/outside strategy is guided by the belief that a lasting majority will require a revitalized Democratic Party built on firm progressive principles.

For over two decades, the party declined as its leadership listened more to the voices of corporations than those of Americans. PDA strives to rebuild the Democratic Party from the bottom up--from every congressional district to statewide party structures to the corridors of power in Washington, where we work arm in arm with the Congressional Progressive Caucus. In just five years, PDA and its allies have shaken up the political status quo--on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, Medicare for all, voter rights, accountability, and economic and environmental justice.


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