Skip to comments.Senate shoots down bill to cut Berkeley funding (DeMint's Semper Fi' bill voted down 41-57)
Posted on 03/18/2008 4:17:32 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
The U.S. Senate has shot down an amendment by a South Carolina senator to pull more than $2 million earmarked for Berkeley school lunches, ferry service and police communication equipment and transfer it to the Marine Corps.
After the Berkeley City Council called the U.S. Marines "uninvited and unwelcome intruders," Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., introduced the Semper Fi Act on Feb. 6 to rescind the funds earmarked for Berkeley in the 2008 fiscal year Omnibus Appropriations bill.
Last Thursday, the Senate voted 41-57 to defeat DeMint's amendment, prompting DeMint to say that he is "extremely disappointed that the U.S. Senate was not willing to stand up for our Marines when they do so much to stand up for us."
"When Berkeley officials called our Marines uninvited and unwelcome intruders it was outrageous and their actions should have consequences," DeMint said in a statement. "If Berkeley wants to insult our troops, they should do it with their own money."
The Chez Panisse Foundation, which provides organic school lunches to Berkeley schools, was one of the programs that faced a cut.
"I'm delighted to see that a bill that was really political grandstanding went down in such an overwhelming defeat," said Berkeley Mayor Tom Bates. "We are thankful that people realize that earmarks for such important things should not be in jeopardy because of some action taken by any local government."
Meanwhile, Republican Assemblyman Guy Houston of San Ramon is pushing forward with a bill to penalize Berkeley's stance against Marine recruiting by withholding $3.3 million in state funds from the city.
Houston has said he moved to pull the money because Berkeley has "embarrassed the country." The bill will be heard in the Assembly Transportation Committee within the next 30 days, said Houston spokesman Keith Ochwat.
Bates said he is not worried about Houston's bill.
"He's running for a supervisor seat in Contra Costa County and he's trying to put himself in front of an issue that will get his name in the newspaper. I don't think anyone thinks this has a chance," Bates said.
The Berkeley City Council set off a national fire storm on Jan. 29 when it made the comments about the Marine-recruiting center in downtown. The council had planned to send a letter to the Marines stating their position. On Feb. 12, the council voted 7-2 not to send the letter and to clarify the earlier motion with new language that recognizes "the recruiters' right to locate in our city and the right of others to protest or support their presence."
The council let stand four items it passed at its previous meeting, including one encouraging "all people to avoid cooperation with the Marine Corps recruiting station and applaud residents and organizations such as CodePink" that "impede, passively or actively" the work of military recruiters.
The statement written by Bates and Councilmembers Max Anderson, Linda Maio and Darryl Moore says the Council opposes "the recruitment of our young people into this war," yet emphasizes that "we deeply respect and support the men and women in our armed forces."
The council also simultaneously gave the anti-war group CodePink a parking space and noise ordinance permit to protest the Marine recruiting station. Although an estimated 30,000 people sent angry emails and letters to City Hall over the anti-military statement, the Council refused to apologize.
The Marine Corps opened its recruiting center at 64 Shattuck Ave. in downtown Berkeley in late 2006. A spokeswoman said they have no plans to leave.
Do we have the names?
looks like a Pubbie or two crossed the aisle on this one.
I’ll post the vote tote shortly.
Cowards afraid to be accused of depriving children of organic school lunches. I can’t believe this didn’t pass.
(DeMint Amdt. No. 4380 )
I’ll bet 100 dollars Snarlin Arlen was one.
More than a few,, amazing.
Cochran, Hagel, Stevens, Warner, Murkowski, Bennett, Specter, Lugar
2 dems Landrieu and Bayh voted Yea..
2 not voting Byrd, Domenici
good bet! ;-)
“We are thankful that people realize that earmarks for such important things should not be in jeopardy because of some action taken by any local government.”
So in other words, act irresponsibly locally, still receive taxpayer dollars nationally? Yeesh!
I hate Hippies. Especially OLD Hippies like this Kool-aid swilling Mayor!
The Guilty Republicans:
Also, Liebereman and Sanders (I)
The good news is that we now have a roll-call vote of Senators whose OPPONENTS now will be able to say, in campaign ads,
“After Berkeley’s city government [insert your version here], Senator Boxer voted to give that city millions of dollars ... and for what? for Chez Panisse gourmet organic food to be served in public schools. Remember that at the ballot box.”
Overall, though, it’s a shame. Berkeley crossed a line when it took affirmative and official action to restrict the property rights of the Marine office BECAUSE it was a Marine office.
I make it 9 Republicans voting on the wrong side. Since two abstained, that would have been enough to carry it.
And I think anyone who believes that Lieberman is on our side now should look at the way he votes.
My no good RINO Senator Arlen Spectacle is on the anti-Marine list...it figures.
Republicans betraying republicans, again!
These guys make me sick, covering their own you-know-whats, playing politics, that’s all they do.
You’re right, Diana, this mayor is really off the deep-end. His arrogance is unbelievable. He accuses anyone else of “Political grandstanding”!?
Thanks, I missed Voinovich..
and Lieberman? good God.
As we have so painfully learned, we can always depend on the usual suspects to sell us out.
Thanks for posting the Senate Vote.
I was so hopeful Demint’s bill would be passed. Voted largely along pary lines. Very sad, really.
“extremely disappointed that the U.S. Senate was not willing to stand up for our Marines when they do so much to stand up for us.” - Senator Demint
Let’s see what the people of Bezerkely do at the polls; I honestly believe a lot of the citizens of the town didn’t quite realize how nuts the city council was. Give them the benefit of the doubt and a chance to vote the bums out. I think (heck, I know) that a lot of people who are opposed to the war are rather shocked and ashamed at the treatment of the Marines.; it’s one thing for citizens to have honest disagreements about things like the necessity and effectiveness of a war, it’s something else to facilitate the abuse and disrespect of people just doing their job and serving their country; quite a few folks who don’t see us in a war for civilization with Islam would still agree with most Americans that the city council went too damn far.
Just my .02
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