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Monday, April 09, 2007

Levin: "We're not going to vote to cut funding, period

That is what ABC is reporting, among other news organizations.

Michigan Sen. Carl Levin, the Senate Armed Service Committee chairman, took issue with an effort by Majority Leader Harry Reid to limit war spending after March 2008 as a way to end U.S. involvement.

"We're not going to vote to cut funding, period," Levin said. "But what we should do, and we're going to do, is continue to press this president to put some pressure on the Iraqi leaders to reach a political settlement."


"We're going to fund the troops. We always have," Levin said. He added, "We're very strong in supporting the troops, but we're also strong on putting pressure on the Iraqi leaders to live up to their own commitments without that political settlement on their part, there is no military solution."

Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa:

there have not been sufficient efforts at discussions" between lawmakers and White House. "We cannot leave the troops unfunded in the field. That just can't be done. And Congress is not in a position to micromanage the war. But we do not have any good alternative. Right now, you can't see the end of the tunnel, let alone a light at the end of the tunnel."

Specter said he was not prepared "to withdraw funding at this time. But my patience, like many others, is growing very thin."

More from Carl Levin:

"We can keep the benchmarks part of the bill without saying that the troops must begin to come back within four months," Levin said. "If that doesn't work and the president vetoes because of that, and he will, then that part of it is removed, because we're going to fund the troops.

Sen. Jon Kyl, R-Ariz:

it is unacceptable to set a goal and timetable for withdrawing the troops. He said lawmakers who support that are basing it on a false notion that the Iraqis are not listening to the United States.

"I was over there about a month ago. We saw the reaction of the Iraqis. They are cooperating with us. So that's old news that they're not cooperating. That's one of the reasons this new surge strategy is working," he said.

Kyl said withholding money from troops with the aim of sending a message to Iraqis that they must do better would be self-defeating.

"You're also sending a message to our troops and to our enemies, who know that all they have to do is wait the conflict out. This is not the way to try to micromanage a war from the U.S. Senate," he said.

Levin and Kyl were interviewed on "This Week" on ABC and Specter appeared on "Late Edition" on CNN.

Wapo blog is also reporting the same.

Needless to say the left is not particularly happy about these statements as shown here, here and here.

Technorati gives us a roundup of who is blogging about this.

Red State makes this point:

Carl Levin--it should be clear--is certainly no dummy. He likely understands that all of the reports of earmarks placed in the military appropriations bill for the purpose of attracting Congressional votes only served to taint the process by which this appropriations bill passed Congress. The more the news of this taint gets out, the worse Congress and its majority leadership looks.

Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid still have not grasped the concept that "getting their way" by use of buying votes or bribing politicians for votes is counterproductive and encourages the stigma that the Democratic party has held for so long as not supporting the troops.

Carl Levin, although not my favorite person or politician, at least shows he has the brains to understand this and is showing quite a bit more common sense than Reid or Pelosi will ever have.

Tracked back by:
Democrats Back Away From Iraq Timeline from The Sandbox....