Iowa Presidential Watch
Holding the Democrats accountable


June 9, 2006  

"[Zarqawi's] death does not alter the fact that our brave men and women in uniform are fighting a war of choice in which the President sent our troops into harm's way without a plan for victory and without leveling with the American people," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said.

"Much like New Hampshire Democrats, Tom Daschle leaves us less than impressed and bewildered that a failed Senate candidate would consider himself a legitimate presidential contender," Aaron McLear, a spokesman for the Republican National Committee, said.

"Our presence in Iraq has served a purpose, but the time has come to listen to our military advisors, who think we have exhausted our ability to do much more militarily," said former Sen. Tom Daschle.

"I have scraped and clawed for every vote, every amendment, for every word of every bill that I believed in my heart would protect human freedom and defend human dignity," Rep. Tom DeLay said in his departing speech. "I have done so at all times honorably and honestly, Mr. Speaker, as God is my witness and history is my judge. If given the chance to do it all again there's only one thing I would change: I would fight even harder."


J U S T   P O L I T I C S

Senate keeps death tax

Senate Democrats failed to join Republicans in enough numbers to provide the 60 votes needed to bring the elimination of the death tax to a vote. The NY Times offers this coverage:

Voting 57 to 41, with only a few lawmakers crossing party lines, the Senate was three votes short of the number needed to end debate on the bill, dooming it on procedural grounds. The vote all but killed hopes at the White House and among Republicans on Capitol Hill of eliminating the tax on large estates, which under current law would be phased out by 2010 but would return in 2011.

Republicans are now debating whether to give up on their goal and attack Democrats in the coming midterm elections as obstructionists on a measure that they say has considerable support, or settle for a bipartisan measure that would stop short of eliminating the tax entirely.

Senator Jon Kyl, Republican of Arizona, said he would continue to meet with Senate leaders and crucial Democrats to discuss options for compromise. But there were few signs on Thursday of any new deal.

Below are the results of roll call, showing which senators voted to keep and not to keep the Death Tax:

Voted to KEEP Death Tax:

Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bennett (R-UT)
Bond (R-MO)
Brownback (R-KS)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Craig (R-ID)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)

DeWine (R-OH)
Dole (R-NC)
Domenici (R-NM)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)

McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Nelson (D-FL)
Nelson (D-NE)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Warner (R-VA)

Voted NOT TO KEEP Death Tax:

Akaka (D-HI)
Bayh (D-IN)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Byrd (D-WV)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dayton (D-MN)
Dodd (D-CT)
Dorgan (D-ND)

Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)

Lieberman (D-CT)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murray (D-WA)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Salazar (D-CO)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Wyden (D-OR)


Pelosi and the Black Caucus, redux

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi appears to backing out of her agreement with the Congressional Black Caucus to not remove Rep. William Jefferson (D-LA) from the powerful Ways and Means Committee.

''It's about to blow up in their face,'' predicted Rep. Melvin Watt, chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus.

The Black Caucus wants to keep Jefferson who recently took $100,000 in bribes from an F.B.I. sting operation. Also, Vernon Jackson, 53, chief executive of iGate Inc., a Louisville-based telecommunications company, pleaded guilty May 3 to paying more than $400,000 in bribes to Jefferson.

Pelosi is moving forward with a Democrat Caucus vote to remove Jefferson from the committee.

U.N. attacks America's right

U.N. Ambassador John Bolton has raised objections to the Deputy Secretary to the U.N. President Koffi Annan. The Deputy Secretary criticized talk show host Rush Limbaugh and Fox News specifically as failing to demonstrate how important the U.N. is to America and the world, according to the Washington Times:

Mark Malloch Brown, the U.N. deputy secretary-general, said Tuesday that Middle America did not understand how closely the United States works with the United Nations because the Bush administration had failed to publicly support the organization.
    "Much of the public discourse that reaches the U.S. heartland has been largely abandoned to its loudest detractors, such as Rush Limbaugh and Fox News," Mr. Malloch Brown said in a speech to two think tanks, the Center for American Progress and the Century Foundation.
    "The U.N.'s role is in effect a secret in Middle America even as it is highlighted in the Middle East and other parts of the world," he added. "To acknowledge an America reliant on international institutions is not perceived to be good politics at home."

 Annan spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the U.N. President stood by the comments of Brown.

Brown did offer the following statement concerning his speech, "I am going to give what might be regarded as a rather un-U.N. speech," he said at the outset. "My underlying message, which is a warning about the serious consequences of a decades-long tendency by U.S. administrations of both parties to engage only fitfully with the U.N., is not one a sitting United Nations official would normally make to an audience like this."

 Daschle in New Hampshire

Former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) had lunch with New Hampshire Democrats and campaigned with congressional candidate Jim Craig in Hooksett. It seems that he thinks he could be president.

While in New Hampshire, Daschle told the New Hampshire Union Leader he opposes a rule change being considered by the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and ByLaws Committee to place one or two caucuses between Iowa’s leadoff caucus and New Hampshire’s first primary.

This Friday, he has moved on to Iowa. Daschel begins the day in Eastern Iowa and ends the day in Ames campaigning for Rep. Tom Latham’s Democrat opponent.


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