Dems leaders do not want to talk about defunding
Democratic leadership yesterday sought to quell voices within their own party who want to "defund" the war in Iraq, while Republicans said that is exactly what the majority party intends to do.Murtha wants to do for Iraq what his policy recommendations did for Somalia. He has never admitted he was wrong in counseling retreat from Somalia, so don't expect him to take responsibility for the next disaster he causes. The man is a disgrace. That the Democrats permit him to have so much power shows how irresponsible they are. Elsewhere this policy of his has been described as a slow bleed, way of starving the war of troops needed to win. It is a disgusting strategy by a disgusting man who is desperate to lose this war. A win at this point would be a political disaster for him and the Democrats.
The House continued its three-day, 36-hour debate on a nonbinding resolution to oppose President Bush's plan to send more than 21,000 additional U.S. troops to Iraq.
"Some assert that this resolution is a first step to defunding our troops in the field. This is categorically false," said Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat. "While the new majority will explore other opportunities to affect Iraq policy, our commitment to our men and women in harm's way is unwavering."
House Republicans accused Democrats of providing encouragement to the nation's terrorist enemies and emphasized statements from the more liberal anti-war wing of the Democratic Party that are at odds with the leadership's position.
Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, sent reporters a video montage of nine Democrats who, in various forms on Tuesday, called for a cutoff of funds for the war in Iraq.
"Congress must deny any more funds for the war," said Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich of Ohio.
"The real test for this Congress will be whether or not we continue to fund this war," said Rep. Maxine Waters of California, the founder and chairman of the Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus.
The Republican-produced video, available publicly at YouTube.com, ended with a warning: "Does anyone really believe Democrats don't plan to cut off funding for America's troops?"
Boehner spokesman Kevin Smith said Republicans will win the public opinion battle if Democrats cut off funds.
"The American people will not tolerate Democrats who attempt to undermine our troops when they are in harm's way," Mr. Smith said.
The Democratic leadership appeared determined to take a less politically risky route: reducing U.S. involvement in Iraq gradually.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat, and Mr. Hoyer reportedly are working with Rep. John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat, on a plan to attach restrictions to supplemental appropriations for the Defense Department.
Mr. Murtha is set to announce his strategy in an interview with former Rep. Tom Andrews, Maine Democrat, at 11 a.m. today on MoveCongress.org, an anti-war Web site started by Mr. Andrews.