Successful Resistance to Resolutions Pass in the US House and the US Senate
The majority of the United States Senate has voted in favor of the Stop War in Iraq Resolution. However, the Democrats managed to garner forty-three votes against the resolution, just a single-vote majority against the two-thirds of votes against. This shows that the United States Senate is run by the opposition, rather than by the majority of citizens who wish to see an end to the war in Iraq. Despite these high numbers, there is still no sign of the opposition being able to push through their resolution.
This comes as a surprise to the government, which has seen its hopes for the Iraq war being dashed by the passage of the resolution. The majority in the House and Senate are Republicans and Democrats, making it seem as though there is little support among the members to get the job done. But as expected, there will be enough votes in favor of the resolution for President Bush to still sign it, meaning that the opposition’s greatest chance to succeed has simply been taken away.
This doesn’t mean, however, that all hope is lost. The most important factor that a group of Senate Democrats can do to ensure that they win the vote on the resolution is to make sure that their fellow Democrats support them. If ten or more Democrats to vote against the resolution, the Republicans will have no choice but to lose thirty seats, since there will be no more tie-breaks. If the opposition can manage to secure fourteen seats, the Democrats would still have a majority, but they will have to split the twelve seats between themselves, leaving the Republicans with a clear advantage.
The Republicans will not be satisfied with only having a one-vote advantage, though. If the Democrats have only a fifty-two percent approval rating, they will not be happy with the fact that a simple majority was required for the legislation to pass. In addition, many members of Congress, especially those with seats that are up for election in upcoming years, may feel pressure from their constituents to vote against the resolution. If this happens, it will not be long before the opposition parties manage to completely strip the majority party of its majority.
Even if the majority is eliminated, however, the minority still controls the purse strings. Once the bill passes the House, it will go back to the Senate, where it will again be debated and voted upon. Should the Senate pass the bill, President Bush will sign it. If it does not pass the House, then the President will need to get either a signing bill from the House, or the two chambers must divide the differences, with each chamber making compromises to the other. In some cases, the negotiations could end up in a duel between the Houses. This could lead to a confrontation between the Presidents and the Congress and could cause a constitutional crisis.
For any opposition to succeed, they must first show the American public that they are willing to compromise. Otherwise, the successful opposition attempts to manage to pass a resolution in the Senate are nothing more than a vanity project. Only by putting forth a genuine effort to hold the administration accountable, can any opposition succeed in their efforts to remove a president.