Watch the news out of House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s office today. It may well be the site of the best the debate about the continued funding of the U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Anti-war activists plan to visit the Illinois Republican’s office this afternoon and to begin reading aloud the names of U.S. soldiers and Iraqis killed in the war. They say they won’t stop until Hastert meets with them to discuss the $67 billion "supplemental" military spending bill that is scheduled for a House vote late today.
They want Hastert to agree to oppose the White House’s request for the additional money top fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
That’s not going to happen, as Hastert is a reliable rubberstamp for White House initiatives.
But the confrontation could draw additional attention to the upcoming vote — and to the broader issue of the administration’s abuse of supplemental spending bills to fund the fighting — which has received far less coverage than it should from the Washington press corps.
The names will be read by Toledoan Mike Ferner, a Vietnam-era vet, and Chicagoan Jeff Leys, members of Voices for Creative Nonviolence (VCNV), who began a water-only fast and daily vigil at the Capitol since February 15, the third anniversary of global protests against invasion of Iraq, that is scheduled to end on the anniversary of the invasion, March 20.