Monday, October 1, 2007

Hillary Clinton Signs On As Co-Sponsor Of James Webb's Iran War Funding Restrictions

Last week Hillary Clinton joined 75 other senators to pass the Lieberman-Kyl Resolution. Both Joe Biden and Chris Dodd had the good sense not to sign on. Barack Obama was conveniently out of town. Mike Gravel and, more importantly, John Edwards nailed her for her vote at last week's debate. Most importantly, yesterday the New Yorker published a Seymour Hersh article discussed below making it clear that the Lieberman-Kyl Let's Bomb Iran Resolution is nothing less than part of the roll-out of the Vice President's war with Iran. Liberal criticism of Clinton's vote has been loud and long.

Apparently something has sunk in. This afternoon Taylor Marsh broke the story that Hillary is joining James Webb in the reintroduction of his legislation requiring the President to seek explicit authorization before using any funds for military operations against Iran. Of course, Webb's legislation failed to secure cloture last March. It is unlikely it will succeed this time.

TPM's Eric Kleefield asks the following:

So will this amendment pass against a likely Republican filibuster? And either way, will Hillary's signing on as a co-sponsor help to assuage liberal doubts about her positions on the Middle East?
Blue Girl and I exchanged emails discussing what Hillary could do to win the support of the Democratic wing of the Democratic party just this afternoon. Color me skeptical. Simply co-sponsoring the legislation isn't enough. She is going to have to work the bill hard. This is a time for her to demonstrate leadership.

Hillary's press release after the break

October 1, 2007

Washington, DC – Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton today announced that she is co-sponsoring legislation introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) that prohibits the use of funds for military operations against Iran without explicit Congressional authorization (S. 759).

Senator Clinton - who has been at the forefront of calling on President Bush to seek authorization from Congress before taking military action against Iran (Read the Senator's Speech on the Senate Floor from February) – said today, “In February, I took to the Senate floor to warn that President Bush needs Congressional Authorization before attacking Iran. Given recent reports about Administration military planning toward Iran and to ensure that Congress plays a proper role in the authorization of any potential military force, today I have added myself as a co-sponsor of a bill introduced by Senator Jim Webb which prohibits the use of funds for military action in Iran without authorization by Congress.”

Senator Clinton added, “Iran has gained expanded influence in Iraq and the region as a result of the Bush Administration's polices which have also rejected diplomacy as a tool for addressing Iranian ambitions. I continue to support and advocate for a policy of entering into talks with Iran, because robust diplomacy is a prerequisite to achieving our aims. I also support strong economic sanctions against Iran, including designating the Iranian Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, to improve our leverage with the Iranian regime."

“Any military action against Iran will have an immediate impact on our troops serving in Iraq, our allies in the region as well as long term U.S. strategic interests. Senator's Webb's legislation insures that Congress will play its constitutional role of providing proper oversight over the Administration's policy toward Iran. Congressional oversight and debate can help avoid the mistakes and blunders that have afflicted U.S. policy in Iraq. We cannot allow recent history to repeat itself.”