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There are three main arrows in the Congressional quiver. One is the power of the purse, with all tax legislation originating in the House, and all tax and appropriations having to pass both chambers.

The second is the ability to raise matters for public discussion, with the Majority leadership allocating Committee chairs who decide what hearings will be held and when, and critically what witnesses will be called under subpoena. Perjury laws apply, as well as the right to not incriminate yourself, so expect a lot of failures to recall and claims of 5th amendment rights when the defense rip-off artists are brought to town for a roasting.

The third is, of course, the control of legislative agenda. Much of what the President hopes to "accomplish" is in fact simply proposals for legislation, and if the House Majority can tie the proposal up in committee, the proposal dies there.

Politically, cutting off funding for the Iraq occupation will be portrayed as abandoning the troops, and large numbers of House Democrats will be unable to vote for that.

Cutting off funding for the privitization of the occupation depends on the success of hearings into war profiteering, so that will not be immediate, but over the course of 2007 it will be possible to make the occupation in Iraq far less lucrative for the blood merchants.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Nov 9th, 2006 at 10:43:14 AM EST
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