REPUBLICANS AND CIVILIAN...

REPUBLICANS AND CIVILIAN DEATHS. Here's the roll call for today's House resolution on the Mideast crisis. What Israel lobby?

Snark aside, despite the monolithic quality of the final vote there actually does appear to have been a bit of behind-the-scenes wrangling over some of the language in this resolution. At her weekly press conference today Nancy Pelosi was asked why she removed her name as co-sponsor of the resolution:

Pelosi: Well, last week when we met at this very time, before I came into this room, I had sent back my message to the Majority Leader that I fully supported the resolution that was sent over to us and that I would be willing to be a co-sponsor with him of it. The conversations I had with the International Relations Committee, with Mr. Lantos and his conversations with Mr. Hyde, were such that we thought this was all systems go; and I thought maybe we would take it up last Thursday.

Then all of a sudden, the Republican leadership started to slow dance this, saying Mr. Hyde wasn't fully on board and the rest. And one change and another kept coming back from their side, and I didn't feel very much like a co-author of anything anymore. So I said, �Well, this is your resolution. I'm happy to support it. I will speak for it. I will encourage my members to vote for it. But it is not something that I co-authored and would have my name on.�

Q: What was the change?

Pelosi: Well, my concern was that -- and, really, again, let's talk about where we agree. We agree that Israel has a right to defend itself. It was outrageous that Hezbollah would make the attack that it did into Israel with all the consequences, including the kidnapping of the soldiers who have yet to be released. So it was nothing about the fundamentals of it. I believed it was important for us to send a message to the region that said that all sides to the conflict should do everything possible to prevent civilian deaths. And that was the language that I thought would be good in there.

It just was that not having that language, plus other language that they had added, I wasn't the co-author of it. I have an old-fashioned idea about if you are going to be the coauthor, you should participate in writing it, don't you think? So that's what it was. [emphasis added]

Not much comment needs to be added to this, I don't think.

--Sam Rosenfeld

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