According to Maxine Waters’ office, the last word was that she will vote "no" on the supplemental. As a member of the Out of Iraq Caucus Rep Waters committed to voting "no" on all war funding that did not include a timeline for troop withdrawal. But she is also the author of a letter that has now been cosigned by 41 Democratic members, and since it takes only 39 Democrats to defeat it, that number is sufficient to keep the bill from passing until their concerns are addressed.
Mark Weisbrot, who is co-director with Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, wrote today at FDL:
The Obama administration has argued that the money is necessary to help provide a global stimulus, and to help poor people in poor countries. But the facts do not support this claim. Almost all of the agreements that the IMF has concluded since the global economic crisis began have included the opposite of stimulus programs: for example spending cuts or interest rate increases. The amount of money that will help poor countries is tiny. And it is difficult to see why the IMF would need hundreds of billions of dollars to help governments with balance of payments support: for sixteen Standby Arrangements negotiated since the crisis intensified last year, the total has been less than $46 billion.
Maxine Waters and those who cosigned her letter have similar concerns about the IMF being given a "blank check." They’re concerned that:
- The money is being used for contractionary monetary and fiscal policy, exacerbating recession in recipient countries
- The money is not being designated for non-debt-creating assistance in poor countries
- There is no parliamentary approval of all IMF loans — no safeguard against corruption
- There are no stipulations about transparency and the public availability of documents
These 41 members can hold up the passage of the IMF funds until such time as their concerns are addressed. They are being told by Rahm Emanuel that "war funding trumps the IMF." But the only reason the two are tethered is because that’s the way the Senate sent it back to the House. They could easily be split into separate votes.
Here are the members who have now signed the letter:
Yvette D. Clarke
Raúl M. Grijalva
Donald M. Payne
| Maurice Hinchey
Marcia L. Fudge
Danny K. Davis
Donna F. Edwards
| Tammy Baldwin
Diane E. Watson
Janice D. Schakowsky
| James McGovern
Melvin L. Watt
Robert C. Scott
Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.
Alcee L. Hastings
You can call them and ask them if they intend to stay true to their convictions with our Whip Tool.