Rules Committee Thwarts Pro-Peace Vote
By Kathy Zager on 05/17/2012 @ 12:35 PM
Last night, the House Rules Committee met to determine which of the 241 offered amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) would be considered. The committee ruled the McGovern/Jones amendment out of order, preventing it from coming to the House floor for a vote. The amendment would have required the U.S. to expedite the transition out of Afghanistan, end combat operations no later than December 2013 and ensure a limited or nonexistent U.S. military presence in Afghanistan after December, 2014. Last year, Representatives Jim McGovern (MA) and Walter Jones (NC) offered a similar amendment, which failed by a hair: 204-215. It was the most impressive display of congressional opposition to the war to date. This year, the amendment’s rejection by the Rules Committee was an indication that it would have likely passed had it seen the House floor. Rep. McGovern, a member of the Rules Committee, protested the decision for over an hour at the Rules Committee meeting late last night.
Despite poll after poll showing overwhelming public support for ending the war in Afghanistan across all party affiliations, the Rules Committee made the political choice to avoid this telling vote during an election cycle. Representatives whose constituents have been calling for the war to end now won’t have to make the choice between representing their war-weary constituents and acquiescing to a powerful, over-funded Pentagon.
Show your representative that there is public support for peace. The Rules Committee has allowed floor time for one of three possible Afghanistan-related amendments that FCNL was following. Representative Barbara Lee (CA) will be allowed to offer an amendment calling for funds for a safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. forces and contractors from Afghanistan, similar to H.R. 780. The House will be debating and voting on the NDAA today: call your representative today and ask for their support for Rep. Lee’s amendment.