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House approves measure lowering the required rank of the defense attache to France

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Roll Call: House Delivers Snub to France

House approves measure lowering the required rank of the defense attache to France

On May 22, by a vote of 302 to 123, the House passed an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill (HR 1588) to lower the required rank of the defense attach√?¬© to France.

Although innocuous in itself, the amendment was an obvious and deliberate slap at France, a nation that U.S. troops bailed out twice at critical moments in the 20th Century.

Earlier this year, France fiercely supported former Iraqi dictator and repeat war criminal Saddam Hussein against President Bush and the United States.

France’s opposition to tough diplomacy during the Iraq crisis was a key factor in bringing about the war in March, leading to the loss of over 100 U.S. troops and probably thousands of Iraqis. The French opposition was entirely politically motivated, as French President Jacques Chirac used it to catapult himself to astronomical levels of public approval in France.

France also continues to work against President Bush’s goal of creating peacefully coexisting Israeli and Palestinian states in the Middle East by trying to revive the relevance of Yasser Arafat, the terror-linked Palestinian leader. French diplomats have also worked to foster hatred of America in the rest of the Muslim world.

“This amendment will repeal the statutory requirement that an officer in our Armed Forces, in order to be selected for assignment as the Defense Attach√?¬© to France, must hold the rank of brigadier general, or-in the case of a Navy officer-rear admiral lower half,” said Rep. Jim Saxton (R.-N.J.), the sponsor of the amendment.

“The Department of Defense included the repeal of this requirement as part of its budget request for fiscal year 2004, and there is no justification for continuing this statutory mandate, in my opinion.”

No one was even willing to speak against this relatively non-controversial amendment, specifically requested by the White House, which actually brings the rank rules for France in line with those for other military attach√?¬©s.

In fact, the amendment could have easily been added to the bill in committee.

However, the conservative House leadership was eager to force individual congressmen-especially liberals-to go on the record as supporting the French over President Bush. This could make for damning campaign commercials in some competitive districts in 2004. For example, France could become a campaign issue next year for Julia Carson (D.-Ind.) of Indianapolis and Leonard Boswell (D.-Iowa) of Des Moines.

Saxton was one of the few congressmen to speak on the amendment.

“Under President Jacques Chirac, France actively opposed the United States and our allies in the recent war with Iraq,” he said. “The French government used all of its influence to prevent the removal of Saddam Hussein from power and hindered our efforts to enforce United Nations Security Council resolutions that required the removal of weapons of mass destruction from his possession. By doing so, France failed to accept its responsibilities and deliberately acted counter to the national security interests of the United States.”

A “yes” vote was a vote to snub France by reducing the rank of the American military attach√?¬© to that country. A “no” vote was a vote against the amendment.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 302 AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 123
REPUBLICANS FOR (219):
Aderholt
Akin
Bachus
Baker
Ballenger
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Bass
Beauprez
Biggert
Bilirakis
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehlert
Boehner
Bonner
Bono
Boozman
Bradley (NH)
Brady (TX)
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, V.
Burgess
Burns
Burr
Burton (IN)
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Cannon
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Castle
Chabot
Chocola
Coble
Cole
Collins
Cox
Crane
Crenshaw
Cubin
Culberson
Cunningham
Davis, Jo Ann
Davis, Tom
Deal (GA)
DeLay
DeMint
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doolittle
Dreier
Duncan
Dunn
Ehlers
English
Everett
Feeney
Ferguson
Flake
Fletcher
Foley
Forbes
Fossella
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gibbons
Gilchrest
Gillmor
Gingrey
Goode
Goodlatte
Goss
Granger
Graves
Green (WI)
Greenwood
Gutknecht
Harris
Hart
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Hayworth
Hefley
Hensarling
Herger
Hobson
Hoekstra
Hostettler
Houghton
Hulshof
Hunter
Hyde
Isakson
Istook
Janklow
Jenkins
Johnson, Sam
Johnson (CT)
Johnson (IL)
Jones (NC)
Keller
Kelly
Kennedy (MN)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kirk
Kline
Knollenberg
LaHood
Latham
LaTourette
Leach
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas (OK)
Manzullo
McCotter
McCrery
McHugh
McInnis
McKeon
Mica
Miller, Gary
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy
Musgrave
Myrick
Nethercutt
Ney
Northup
Norwood
Nunes
Nussle
Osborne
Ose
Otter
Paul
Pearce
Pence
Peterson (PA)
Petri
Pickering
Pitts
Platts
Pombo
Porter
Portman
Pryce (OH)
Putnam
Radanovich
Ramstad
Regula
Rehberg
Renzi
Reynolds
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Rohrabacher
Ros-Lehtinen
Royce
Ryan (WI)
Ryun (KS)
Saxton
Schrock
Sensenbrenner
Sessions
Shadegg
Shaw
Shays
Sherwood
Shimkus
Shuster
Simmons
Simpson
Smith (MI)
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Souder
Stearns
Sullivan
Sweeney
Tancredo
Tauzin
Taylor (NC)
Terry
Thomas
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Tiberi
Toomey
Turner (OH)
Upton
Vitter
Walden (OR)
Walsh
Wamp
Weldon (FL)
Weldon (PA)
Weller
Whitfield
Wicker
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (SC)
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS FOR (83):
Ackerman
Alexander
Allen
Andrews
Baca
Berkley
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Boucher
Boyd
Brady (PA)
Capps
Cardin
Cardoza
Case
Costello
Cramer
Davis (CA)
Davis (TN)
DeFazio
Deutsch
Doyle
Edwards
Engel
Etheridge
Evans
Filner
Gordon
Green (TX)
Hall
Hastings (FL)
Hill
Hinojosa
Holden
Honda
Hooley (OR)
Hoyer
Israel
John
Kennedy (RI)
Kildee
Kind
Langevin
Lantos
Larson (CT)
Levin
Lipinski
Lofgren
Lucas (KY)
Lynch
Maloney
Marshall
Matheson
McCarthy (MO)
McCarthy (NY)
McIntyre
Menendez
Michaud
Ortiz
Pascrell
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy
Rangel
Ross
Rothman
Ruppersberger
Ryan (OH)
Sandlin
Schiff
Scott (GA)
Sherman
Skelton
Snyder
Spratt
Stenholm
Tanner
Tauscher
Taylor (MS)
Turner (TX)
Weiner
Wu
Wynn

REPUBLICANS AGAINST (2):
Bereuter
Kolbe

DEMOCRATS AGAINST (120):
Abercrombie
Baird
Baldwin
Ballance
Becerra
Bell
Berman
Blumenauer
Boswell
Brown, Corrine
Brown (OH)
Capuano
Carson (IN)
Carson (OK)
Clay
Clyburn
Conyers
Cooper
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (AL)
Davis (FL)
Davis (IL)
DeGette
Delahunt
DeLauro
Dicks
Dingell
Doggett
Dooley (CA)
Emanuel
Eshoo
Farr
Fattah
Ford
Frank (MA)
Frost
Gonzalez
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Harman
Hinchey
Hoeffel
Holt
Inslee
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
Johnson, E. B.
Jones (OH)
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kilpatrick
Kleczka
Kucinich
Lampson
Larsen (WA)
Lee
Lowey
Majette
Markey
Matsui
McCollum
McDermott
McGovern
McNulty
Meehan
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Millender-McDonald
Miller, George
Miller (NC)
Mollohan
Moore
Moran (VA)
Murtha
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Oberstar
Obey
Olver
Owens
Pallone
Pastor
Payne
Pelosi
Price (NC)
Rahall
Reyes
Rodriguez
Roybal-Allard
Rush
Sabo
Sanchez, Linda
Sanchez, Loretta
Schakowsky
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Slaughter
Smith (WA)
Solis
Stark
Strickland
Stupak
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Towns
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Van Hollen
Velazquez
Visclosky
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Wexler
Woolsey

INDEPENDENT AGAINST (1):
Sanders

NOT VOTING: 9

REPUBLICANS (7): DEMOCRATS (2): INDEPENDENTS (0)
Bonilla
Combest
Diaz-Balart, L.
Emerson
Issa
Oxley
Quinn
Gephardt
Lewis (GA)
 
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