On October 2, by a vote of 56 to 42, the Senate voted to table (kill) an amendment by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D.-Vt.) that would have transferred authority over post-war Iraq from the Department of Defense to the State Department.
Even as many Democrats complained of the unstable military situation in Iraq, Leahy insisted that the reconstruction of Iraq should take place under the auspices of the State Department, many of whose career bureaucrats, according to critics, have quietly undermined American interests for decades. The amendment, Leahy said, “does what many of us feel we should have done five months ago when we appropriated the first $2.5 billion in foreign aid for Iraq. At the time we gave that very substantial amount of foreign aid to Iraq, many of us urged the Secretary of State-not the Secretary of Defense-should have authority over the reconstruction program. . . . When you are going to give enormous amounts of foreign aid for reconstruction, the aid should be under the Department of State. After all, foreign aid is the responsibility of the State Department.”
Leahy also demanded that money be parceled out to foreign non-profits by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), an agency that currently has as one of its most significant tasks the dissemination-at taxpayer expense-of population control and sexual propaganda that critics believe are corrupting young children in Third World countries
“It [giving money to non-profits]is the responsibility of USAID,” said Leahy. “That is what they know how to do. That is what their people are trained to do.”
Sen. John Warner (R.-Va.) argued against the amendment on the grounds that the situation in Iraq is not stable enough for such a transfer of authority. Rather, he said, power must be left with the American administrator, Paul Bremer, who reports to the Pentagon. Otherwise, he said, more lives would be placed at risk for the sake of Leahy’s ideologically motivated amendment.
“There is a direct correlation between the speed and the momentum that the Bremer operation has brought up to replace the infrastructure and the lessening of the personal risks to individuals,” said Warner.
Warner also pointed out that Secretary of State Colin Powell opposed the amendment.
Leahy’s amendment was then tabled.
A “yes” vote was a vote to table (kill) Leahy’s amendment to transfer authority over Iraq from the Pentagon to the State Department. A “no” vote was a vote against the motion to table and, in effect, a vote for Leahy’s amendment.
|FOR THE MOTION TO TABLE: 56||AGAINST THE MOTION TO TABLE: 42|
|REPUBLICANS FOR (51):
DEMOCRATS FOR: (5):
|DEMOCRATS AGAINST (41):
INDEPENDENTS AGAINST (1):
NOT VOTING: 2
|REPUBLICANS (0):||DEMOCRATS (2):|