US Congress debates Iraq funding
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
The United States Congress has returned from a two-week recess to face a busy agenda before it completes its session later this month. President George W. Bush is urging lawmakers to approve his funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as a first priority.
"It's unconscionable to deny funds to our troops in harm's way because some in Congress want to force a self-defeating policy — especially when we're seeing the benefits of success," said President Bush.
Mr. Bush says progress made on the battlefield as a result of a boost in the number of troops in Iraq this year would be undermined by a troop withdrawal timeline.
The President has requested US$196 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House of Representatives has approved US$50 billion of that. But in the Senate, Republican blocked a similar funding package last month because it included a timetable for a troop withdrawal.
"If not for the stubborn refusal of the president and his Republicans enablers to work with us, we would have accomplished a lot more," said Senator Reid.
Although Mr. Bush had warned that the Pentagon would be forced to begin laying off civilian employees if the funds are not received soon, Senator Reid said the Pentagon could shift funds for the war effort from other accounts.
Besides funding for the war, Congress must also pass legislation funding government agencies and programs. In addition, lawmakers may also try to revise a wiretapping law that expires in two months.
- Domenico Montanaro. "Bush: Still battling Congress" — , December 4, 2007
- Deborah Tate. "Bush, Senate Democrats Resume Sparring on Iraq War Funding" — , December 3, 2007
- Carl Hulse and David Stout. "Bush and Democrats Renew War of Words" — , December 3, 2007