February 27, 2007


Democrats Battle Over Policy on Iraq: Lawmakers Debate Whether to Exercise Power of the Purse (DAVID ROGERS, February 27, 2007, Wall Street Journal)

In the wake of their election losses in November, Republicans have their own divisions over the president's policy. But Democrats face greater pressure, and the debate exposes internal politics and warring personalities, especially in the House.

After proposing restrictions on the funds, the bill's manager, Rep. John Murtha (D., Pa.), has been pummeled by Republicans and fellow Democrats eager to bring him down a peg or two. His friendship with Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) and past rivalry with Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D., Md.) adds spice to the story. And fearing the entire bill could collapse, House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey (D., Wis.) has sanctioned the drafting of waivers to the Murtha-backed provisions that would restore more flexibility to the administration.

"They want to end the war, but they want to fund the war," said Mr. Murtha, frustrated by his party's reluctance to exert its power over spending.

Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the Democratic caucus chairman, is cautious about crossing this line and argues any conditions on funding should focus on the Iraq government, not U.S. forces. "Congress has the job of oversight and holding the administration accountable, but the war is owned and managed from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue," the Illinois Democrat said.

Congress should repeal its authorization to use force in Iraq (Joseph R. Biden Jr., February 27, 2007, Boston Globe)
TWO WEEKS ago, Congress made clear its opposition to President Bush's plan to send more US troops to Iraq.

Opposing the surge is only a first step. There needs to be a radical change in course in Iraq. The pressure is building on Congress -- especially Republicans -- to act if the president will not.

The best next step is to revisit the authorization Congress granted Bush in 2002 to use force in Iraq.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 27, 2007 12:00 AM
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