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Major Garrett Claims Democrats Want to End Funding for Iraq in "A Month, Two, Three Months From Now"

Reported by Janie - February 6, 2007 -

Major Garrett appeared live in the Fox studio last night (2/5) for a discussion with Brit Hume during "Special Report" about the three resolutions the Senate is currently looking at in regards to the Iraq war. Garrett, with Hume's assistance, attacked Democrats while promoting the Republican resolutions, and claimed Democrats want to cut funding for the war in "a month, two, three months from now."

MG: "Right now the Senate is voting on a motion to proceed with the debate, that will not pass. What that means is there will not be 60 votes to proceed to a simple debate and vote on one proposition. That proposition being that the Senate of the United States disagrees with the troop surge in Iraq.

Now the reason there will not be a debate and a vote on that simple matter and that simple proposition, is that Republican say wait a minute, we have other ideas about Iraq. We would also like a vote and debate on the McCain resolution that says the Senate supports the troop surge. Also, Republicans would like a debate and vote on a third idea, which simply says at no point in the future of the Iraq debate will Congress cut off funding for troops in the field.

Now, Democrats say all of this is an elaborate Republican charade to filibuster an important debate on the Iraq war resolution and the Iraq troop surge the President has put before the country. Republicans say, look, if you want to have a debate and vote in the Senate, you've got to have a fair process where all, or at least many ideas are debated, not just one."

Comment: Garrett is attempting to provide cover to the Republican party, who did in fact filibuster the troop surge resolution. Notice that Garrett, in an attempt to portray the Republican party in a better light states that "Democrats say all of this is an elaborate Republican charade to filibuster..." All of Garrett's explanation, in fact, makes Democrats look like the "bad guy" in the debate, while Republicans "just want a fair process."

BH: "Alright, now. The measure that the Senate right now is in the process of not agreeing to go forward with, is a measure that if the Senate did go forward with, would pass. That's the one expressing disapproval. Now the McCain resolution, which expresses approval, obviously, would not pass. But what about this third one, that you mentioned? That I guess Senator Gregg of NH introduced which forswears any cut off of funds. How would that do? How many votes would that get?"

MG: "Republicans and Democrats both agree that of all the ideas you just laid out, the one that would attract the most votes, the largest bipartisan majority is the one that says Congress will not cut off funding for the troops, which is why Democrats are so unhappy about the direction this debate has turned, because they don't want that one to prevail."

BH: "In other words, they want theirs to prevail, but they don't want the one that says no cut off of funds to prevail by a larger margin."

MG: "Right."

BH: "And thereby draw attention away from the one they pass, is that what they're concerned about?"

MG: "Draw attention away from the one they want passed, and more importantly, overshadow or at least recommend what the Congress may do when it debates in the future, a month, two, three months from now, exactly what's going to happen with funding of the Iraq troop surge or operations in Iraq."

Comment: Garrett and Hume are trying to claim that Democrats are more interested in their own bill passing, rather than debating a bill that would not allow Congress to cut off funding for Iraq.

In fact, approving such a resolution would tie the hands of the Democrats (and Republicans) if, down the line, it did become necessary to cut off funding for the war. By passing such a resolution, Republicans would be able to levy a charge of "flip-flopper" against Democrats in future elections, if they chose in the future (not one to three months as Garrett tries to claim) to use the power of the purse to end the war.

BH: "So the concern is, not only do the resolution that Senator Greg has introduced that says no cut off of funds, not only does it perhaps upstage the disapproval of the President's surge, at least for a moment, but it puts Senators who might later want to change their mind and cut off funds, and the position kind of flip-flopped."

MG: "Right. It changes the onus, the political pressure on who's trying to put themselves in the most advantageous position on this political debate. Two weeks ago, Democrats thought that a vote opposing the troop surge would be most advantageous for Republicans, they'd split Republicans. Now Democrats want, are moving more toward cutting off funds, Republicans want to accelerate that, but Democrats aren't organized, so in the end, the Democrats feel more pressure on future funding, than they do on the troop surge."

BH: "So am I right in thinking that unless the Democrats agree to having an up or down vote on this Gregg matter, then they aren't going to get a vote on anything?"

MG: "They're not going to get it, and they will immediately accuse Republicans of filibustering an important, vital debate on the future of the war, Republicans will say we want a fair process, remind everyone Brit, this is a non-binding resolution, it has no affect on policy whatsoever, it is just the Senate expressing its opinion, nevertheless, Democrats will say it's vitally important, Republicans are blocking it."

Comment: Of COURSE Democrats are going to say Republicans are filibustering an important, vital debate on the future of the war, because that's exactly what they're doing.

Garrett used the whole segment to instill fear in viewers that the Democrats are ready to cut off funding, very shortly, for the Iraq war, while at the same time making the GOP out to be the good guys in the debate, because they just want a "fair process."