"George Bush has a habit of firing military leaders who tell him the Iraq war is failing. He can't fire you...He can't fire us...The founders of our country gave our Congress the power of the purse because they envisioned a scenario exactly like we find ourselves in today. Not only is it in our power, it is our obligation to stop Bush." -Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich)-
That's what John Conyers, Michigan Democrat and the second most senior member of the House of Representatives had to say to the tens of thousands of people who gathered on the National Mall this past Saturday in protest against the war in Iraq. Rep. Lynn Woolsey joined him in addressing the rally, urging activists and lobbyists to support legislation to withdraw Congressional approval for the war in Iraq.
This comes on the heels of President Bush's statements ignoring Congress's opposition, and, in fact, rebuffing Congress in saying that "I'm the decision maker." Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said she was puzzled by the president's minimalist explanation for his confidence in the new surge of 21,500 U.S. troops, presented as the crux of a new "way forward" for U.S. forces in Iraq. As reported by Politico, Pelosi said: "He's tried this two times -- it's failed twice...I asked him at the White House, 'Mr. President, why do you think this time it's going to work?' And he said, 'Because I told them it had to.'"
You can read more about what members of Congress had to say in the coverage by Common Dreams. You can also visit The Nation for some ground coverage of the protest in Karen Houppert's article "Voices of Protest," Peter Rothberg's "Surge for Peace" and John Nichol's "DC Marchers Challenge Congress to end War."