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For those who know to read symptoms, can get the underlying drifts, are able to weather developments in statu nascendi .... this is NOT unconnected to Iraq. Best Andreas ---------------- 1) Congressman Rangel: "We're Mad as Hell and We're Not Going To Take it Any More" 2) Congressman Pete Stark: "Republican Effort to Shut Out Democrats and Stifle Debate" 3) Background article: Congressman Pete Stark - "Opposing H.J. Res. 114, Authorization for Military Force Against Iraq" --------------- 1) http://truthout.org/docs_03/072003D.shtml Congressman Rangel: "We're Mad as Hell and We're Not Going To Take it Any More" t r u t h o u t | Statement Friday 18 July 2003 WASHINGTON - There was a stand-off today between the Democratic members of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means and the U.S. Capitol Police after they were called by staff representing Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.). The incident occurred after Committee Democrats protesting the late notice given them of major changes to pension legislation, walked out of the Ways and Means markup of that bill in the main Committee room and convened a meeting in the Committee library. At that point, while the markup of the bill (H.R. 1776) was still going on, the Committee Majority staff called the U.S. Capitol Police on behalf of the Chairman and asked that the members be removed. Specifically, according to several witnesses, the Chief of Staff of the Ways and Means Majority staff informed the Democratic members that Chairman Thomas had asked to get the police to remove the Democratic members because the Republican members needed the room to meet in themselves (notwithstanding the fact that the Republicans were all at the markup). The U.S. Capitol Police sent several officers and politely informed Ranking Member Charles B. Rangel (D-N.Y.) that they had been called and would check to see what their duty was in this matter. Rep. Rangel said that he did not see how Chairman Thomas could possibly order the removal of other members of Congress from an official room that had not been in use and that the members intended to stay there and continue their meeting. "Today, some of the most senior Democrats in Congress said, 'we're mad as hell and we're not going to take it any more,'" said Rep. Rangel. "The House Republicans have gone well beyond the powers of the majority party. They can enact legislation because they have the votes and set the terms of debate. But I don't care how big the majority is, they have no right to threaten members of Congress with police action." "As it stands, the Republicans have a slim majority and yet they have a long history of trying to suppress the rights of Democratic members to be heard, to be given fair notice of what we are asked to vote on, and to express our views. We Democrats represent almost half the population and yet we are forced to hold sit-ins. Then, they call the cops! The idea that a member of Congress would call the Capitol Police on other members performing their Constitutional duties is deplorable. Once we start taking away the privileges of members to use space to deliberate, it does not just affect me, Ways and Means Democrats or members of this House, it affects the institution of the House of Representatives," Rep. Rangel continued. The stand-off lasted for over an hour. As it continued, the Chairman ignored an objection from a unanimous consent request from the remaining Democratic member in the room, Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), who then joined the other Democrats in the Committee Library. Then, they proceeded with the markup with no Democratic members in the room. About an hour after the markup concluded, the stand-off was resolved when a representative from the Sergeant-at-Arm's office, Don Kellaher, came and informed the members that it was a Committee matter and that they would not take any action. At that point, the Democratic members left as did the U.S. Capitol Police. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Congressman Pete Stark: "Republican Effort to Shut Out Democrats and Stifle Debate" t r u t h o u t | Statement Friday 18 July 2003 "Much has been made today about my conduct in the Ways and Means Committee markup of HR 1776. Let's be clear. I am not the issue here. Never was I approached by a police officer or questioned about what happened. "The issue is that the Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee called the police to throw Democrats out of a room where they were meeting to determine how to respond to a bill we first saw this morning. It is yet another step in their continued effort to shut out Democrats and stifle debate. "Sometimes I feel so passionate about an issue that I am not as diplomatic as I should be. Whatever was said, I never physically threatened anyone. I did exchange words that were not becoming of my office. I regret that. "Republicans are using my intemperate words as a diversionary tactic. Republicans cannot stand up and defend the calling of the police to remove Democrats from a room in the people's House. Chairman Thomas' behavior today should not be allowed in a democracy. It's reminiscent of a police state, not America. That's the issue." Print This Story E-mail This Story ę : t r u t h o u t 2003 -------------------- 3) http://wwws.house.gov/search97cgi/s97_cgi?action=View&VdkVgwKey=http%3A%2F%2 Fwww%2Ehouse%2Egov%2Fstark%2Fdocuments%2F107th%2Firaqres%2Ehtml&DocOffset=9& DocsFound=35&QueryZip=iraq&SourceQueryZip=vdkvgwkey+%3Csubstring%3E+%22Stark %22+OR+vdkvgwkey+%3Csubstring%3E%22%2Fca13%22&Collection=members&ViewTemplat e=memberview%2Ehts& Opposing H.J. Res. 114, Authorization for Military Force Against Iraq October 9, 2002 "Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to this resolution. "I am deeply troubled that lives may be lost without a meaningful attempt to bring Iraq into compliance with UN resolutions through careful and cautious diplomacy. "The bottom line is I don´t trust this President and his advisors. "Make no mistake, we are voting on a resolution that grants total authority to the President who wants to invade a sovereign nation without any specific act of provocation. This would authorize the United States to act as the aggressor for the first time in our history. "It sets a precedent for our nation - or any nation - to exercise brute force anywhere in the world without regard to international law or international consensus. "Congress must not walk in lockstep behind a President who has been so callous to proceed without reservation, as if war was of no real consequence. "You know, three years ago in December, Molly Ivins, an observer of Texas politics, wrote: `For an upper-class white boy, Bush comes on way too hard. At a guess, to make up for being an upper-class white boy." "´Somebody,´ she said, `should be worrying about how all this could affect his handling of future encounters with some Saddam Hussein.´ How prophetic, Ms. Ivins. "Let us not forget that our President -- our Commander in Chief - has no experience with, or knowledge of, war. In fact, he admits that he was at best ambivalent about the Vietnam War. He skirted his own military service and then failed to serve out his time in the National Guard. And, he reported years later that at the height of that conflict in 1968 he didn´t notice `any heavy stuff going on.´" "So we have a President who thinks foreign territory is the opponent´s dugout and Kashmir is a sweater. "What is most unconscionable is that there is not a shred of evidence to justify the certain loss of life. Do the generalized threats and half-truths of this Administration give any one of us in Congress the confidence to tell a mother or father or family that the loss of their child or loved one was in the name of a just cause? "Is the President´s need for revenge for the threat once posed to his father enough to justify the death of any American? "I submit the answer to these questions is no. "Aside from the wisdom of going to war as Bush wants, I am troubled by who pays for his capricious adventure into world domination. "The Administration admits to a cost of around 200 Billion Dollars! "Now, wealthy individuals won´t pay. They´ve got big tax cuts already. "Corporations won´t pay. They´ll cook the books and move overseas and then send their contributions to the Republicans. "Rich kids won´t pay. Their daddies will get them deferments as Big George did for George W. "Well then, who will pay? "School kids will pay. There´ll be no money to keep them from being left behind - way behind. "Seniors will pay. They´ll pay big time as the Republicans privatize Social Security and rob the Trust Fund to pay for the capricious war. "Medicare will be curtailed and drugs will be more unaffordable. And there won´t be any money for a drug benefit because Bush will spend it all on the war. "Working folks will pay through loss of job security and bargaining rights. "Our grandchildren will pay through the degradation of our air and water quality. "And the entire nation will pay as Bush continues to destroy civil rights, women´s rights and religious freedom in a rush to phony patriotism and to courting the messianic Pharisees of the religious right. "The questions before the Members of this House and to all Americans are immense, but there are clear answers. America is not currently confronted by a genuine, proven, imminent threat from Iraq. The call for war is wrong. "And what greatly saddens me at this point in our history is my fear that this entire spectacle has not been planned for the well being of the world, but for the short-term political interest of our President. "Now, I am also greatly disturbed that many Democratic leaders have also put political calculation ahead of the President´s accountability to truth and reason by supporting this resolution. "But, I conclude that the only answer is to vote no on the resolution before us." _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk