Congress Can't Fund the Troops
11:27 AM, May 29, 2008 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
After ending 2007 with abysmal approval ratings, Congressional leaders seemed to recognize that protracted fights over Iraq funding bills were damaging their credibility. They acknowledged that it made little sense to split their conference, only to capitulate to the president at the last minute. It seemed like Democrats simply wanted the Iraq issue to go away. Along those lines, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer made clear a few weeks ago that Democrats would no longer try to play games with Iraq funds:
Either Hoyer doesn't speak for his party, or he can't marshal the votes he needs to deliver. That became clear yesterday, when the Pentagon requested authority to shift money among defense accounts to ensure that our troops in the field don't have their funds cut off due to Congressional inaction:
Democratic leaders have tried to move legislation to fund the ongoing war, but their domestic spending has alienated fiscal conservatives without buying the votes of anti-war liberals. Assuming Democrats retain control of the Congress in 2009, the calculus won't suddenly change: leaders will still need to cobble together a majority.
But if Barack Obama is elected president, there's no way that Congressional leaders will suddenly tack right -- and force on the president spending bills that require a more aggressive stance in Iraq and the war on terror. Rather, the majority position will be dictated by the anti-war liberals, who regard the 'War on Terror' as a police action, at best. Will President Obama stand up to them?