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Archive for August 1st, 2011

Huffington Post 7/30/11

Jennifer Bendery

WASHINGTON — With just three days left until the country is set to begin defaulting on its debt, the House rejected a debt proposal by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Saturday — a move Republicans designed purely for theatrics to show the bill lacked the votes to pass.

The bill was rejected by a vote of 173 to 246. Eleven Democrats joined all of the House Republicans in opposing Reid’s bill. The defecting Democrats included Reps. John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Bruce Braley (Iowa), David Loebsack (Iowa), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Mike Ross (Ark.), Kurt Schrader (Ore.), Peter Visclosky (Ind.) and David Wu (Ore.).

Reid and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) headed to the White House to discuss the state of play with President Barack Obama shortly after the bill went down.

House Republicans pushed Reid’s bill through via a restrictive voting process: The measure was taken up on the suspension calendar, which requires a two-thirds vote to pass, bars amendments and limits debate to 40 minutes.

Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), who sits on the House Rules Committee, called the day’s business “a joke,” “a disgrace” and “an insult to the American people.”

The effect of taking up Reid’s bill on the suspension calendar — a move typically reserved for noncontroversial measures — is “a $2.5 trillion bill being brought up under the same process used for post offices,” McGovern said.

Read more at Huffington Post

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Tony Blair will face scathing criticism from Sir John Chilcot’s inquiry over his role in the Iraq war, according to reports.

The former prime minister will be held to account for major failings in the war in which 179 British soldiers, 3,500 US soldiers and more than 100,000 Iraqis died, it has been alleged.

He will be criticised for claiming it was ‘beyond doubt’ Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, the Mail on Sunday reported.

Sir John Chilcot’s findings will also criticise Mr Blair for failing to admit to a ‘secret pledge’, allegedly made with former US president George Bush, that he would go to war.

In the report, due out this autumn, Mr Blair will also come under fire for failing to plan to avoid the post-war chaos in Iraq.

Former foreign secretary Jack Straw and ex-Downing Street spin doctor Alastair Campbell are also expected to be criticised.

Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/870992-tony-blair-to-face-scathing-criticism-from-chilcot-inquiry-into-iraq-war#ixzz1TllBQxxz

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