House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) kicks off debate on the war, via a GOP written resolution, with a speech from the House floor at 10:45 a.m. Chicago time.
It's part of ``Iraq Week'' for President Bush and GOP leaders in Congress to rally support for the war. Dems charge the House resolution is designed just to embarrass critics.
release from Rep. Slaughter........
ANOTHER CLOSED RULE
...ONLY 10 HOURS OF DEBATE
In Anticipation of Supposed Full and Thorough 'Day of Debate', Republicans Deny Democracy, Prevent Dissention and Promote Plebiscite On Iraq Resolution
Rules Committee Passes Yet Another Closed Rule Governing H.Res 861
Washington, DC - Rep. Louise M. Slaughter (D-NY-28), Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee, today joined her Democratic colleagues on the House Rules Committee in demanding a full and open debate on H.Res. 861, the Republican Iraq war resolution to be brought to the Floor tomorrow morning.
For such an open debate to take place, the Republican-controlled Rules Committee would have had to pass an open rule governing debate on H.Res. 861. Such a rule would have permitted any Member of the House will have the ability to rise and address the body for five minutes concerning the legislation being debated and would have allowed the resolution to be amended.
Instead, House Republicans in the Rules Committee passed a closed rule, which will prevent H.Res. 861 from being amended, and will significantly constrict debate on the measure.
"Republicans have shown us tonight that they are about politics, not progress. They are willing to use the war to further their partisan agenda and try to save their majority, but they won't allow a real, honest, open- debate on the war in Iraq," said Rep. Slaughter.
"This is a serious issue, but the Majority is offering us yet another sham," Rep. Slaughter said. "It has given us its resolution, but has denied us the chance to amend it or debate it freely. We could spend ten hours or ten years debating this bill, but it wouldn't affect the course of American policy the slightest bit."
"At a time when Republicans consistently argue that the Iraq war is about the extension of democracy and freedom around the world, they have to see the overwhelming hypocrisy in preventing free expression here at home," Rep. Slaughter said. "My Democrat colleagues and I wanted to make sure that every member of the House will have a chance to have their voice heard. But that's not what the Republican Majority values."