Celtic Diva's Blue Oasis: Which "Blue Dogs" should be in the dog house over delaying the GI Bill?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Which "Blue Dogs" should be in the dog house over delaying the GI Bill?

I received this email from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) yesterday:
Last week, despite enormous momentum, a vote on the GI Bill was delayed by a small group of Democrats in the House. Believe it or not, they're concerned about the cost of the bill, which amounts to less than 0.5% of war funding for the year. This is Washington ineffectiveness at its worst.
"A small group of Democrats in the House" refers to "The Blue Dog Coalition". According to their website:
The 47 conservative and moderate Democrats in the group hail from every region of the country, although the group acknowledges some southern ancestry which accounts for the group's nickname. Taken from the South's longtime description of a party loyalist as one who would vote for a yellow dog if it were on the ballot as a Democrat, the "Blue Dog" moniker was taken by members of The Coalition because their moderate-to-conservative-views had been "choked blue" by their party in the years leading up to the 1994 election.

The Coalition was formed in the 104th Congress as a policy-oriented group to give moderate and conservative Democrats in the House of Representatives a common sense, bridge-building voice within the institution.
So, the "fiscally responsible message represented by The Coalition" is being pushed by some of the members NOW, when they've had NO PROBLEM supporting the run-away spending in Iraq:
A small group of fiscally conservative Blue Dog Democrats is threatening to block the emergency war spending bill over a program for veterans’ benefits not offset with tax hikes or spending cuts.

Because of that problem, and the efforts by House Republicans to stall floor action with procedural motions, the vote on the carefully crafted supplemental measure could be delayed until Friday or next week.

“Some of us oppose creating a new entitlement program in an emergency spending bill, whether it’s butchers, bakers or candlestick-makers,” said Rep. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), a founding member of the Blue Dog Coalition who serves on the House leadership team as a deputy whip.

They only need 15 members of the house to kill this legislation. There are 47 "Blue Dogs" in the House. However, 36 of those members are signed on as co-sponsors of HB 5740. So, according to Daily Kos diarist BarbinMD:
...either Tanner and Boyd plan to join forces with Republicans to kill this bill, or there are at least 4 Blue Dogs who don't have the courage to stand by their convictions and do the right thing.
The IAVA email requests that we contact our House Rep and encourage them to vote for the Bill. However, Congressman Don Young has actually been on board with the legislation for quite awhile. (Feel free to send him a "thank you" email for that!)

However, what we CAN do is contact the "Blue Dogs" and tell them to "HEEL!"

Kristin Hawn, "Blue Dogs" Communications Director--BlueDog@mail.house.gov

Mike Arcuri: (202) 225-3665
Joe Baca: (202) 225-6161
John Barrow: (202) 225-2823
Melissa Bean: (202) 225-3711
Marion Berry: (202) 225-4076
Sanford Bishop: (202) 225-3631
Dan Boren: (202) 225-2701
Leonard Boswell: (202) 225-3806
Allen Boyd: (202) 225-5235
Dennis Cardoza: (202) 225-6131
Christopher Carney: (202) 225-3731
Ben Chandler: (202) 225-4706
Jim Cooper: (202) 225-4311
Jim Costa: (202) 225-3341
Bud Cramer: (202) 225-4801
Lincoln Davis: (202) 225-6831
Joe Donnelly: (202) 225-3915
Brad Ellsworth: (202) 225-4636
Gabrille Giffords: (202) 225-2542
Kirsten Gillibrand: (202) 225-5614
Bart Gordon: (202) 225-4231
Jane Harman: (202) 225 8220
Stephanie Herseth Sandlin: (202) 225-2801
Baron Hill: (202) 225-5315
Tim Holden: (202) 225-5546
Steve Israel: (202) 225-4669
Nick Lampson: (202) 225-5951
Tim Mahoney: (202) 225-5792
Jim Marshal: (202) 225-6531
Jim Matheson: (202) 225-3011
Mike McIntyre: (202) 225-2731
Charlie Melancon: (202) 225-4031
Michael Michaud: (202) 225-6306
Dennis Moore: (202) 225-2865
Patrick Murphy: (202) 225-4276
Collin Peterson: (202) 225-2165
Earl Pomeroy: (202) 225-2611
Mike Ross: 1-800-223-2220
John Salazar: (202) 225-4761
Loretta Sanchez: (202) 225-2965
Adam Schiff: (202) 225-4176
David Scott: (202) 225-2939
Heath Shuler: (202) 225-6401
Zack Space: (202) 225-6265
John Tanner: (202) 225-4714
Gene Taylor: (202) 225-5772
Mike Thompson: (202) 225-3311
Charlie Wilson: (202) 225-5705


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