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Boehner Advises a Vote Against Murtha's Plan, Even If That Means Cutting War Funds

February 28, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

The House Appropriations Committee today set a target date of March 7 to begin their role in preparing President Bush’s $93.4 billion war supplemental appropriations request. Once the committee is done tweaking the supplemental war request, probably about a week later, it will be sent to the House floor, where its future is looking more and more uncertain.

This morning at the Republican Conference meeting, House Minority Leader John Boehner told members to vote against the supplemental funding request if Democrats insist on including John Murtha’s latest Iraq plan in it. Murtha’s plan, while fully funding the war, would place so many requirements on troop readiness that it would actually be impossible to find 21,500 qualifying soldiers to be deployed.

What Boehner suggested today is that Republicans should put themselves on the record as voting against the President’s request to fund his plan to increase U.S. troops in Iraq, rather than voting to provide funds while simultaneously tying up the President’s hands.

Boehner also sees the war supplemental as another opportunity for lawmakers who oppose the war to do what Republicans have been challenging them to do all along — vote to block funding for U.S. troops abroad. “The supplemental is simply a way to fund our troops that are in harm’s way in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Boehner said. “And the Democrats who are opposed to the war, who really do want to cut off funding — this is their chance to vote no.” So far, only a small group of liberal Democrats have expressed interest in placing such a vote.

The Democratic leadership in the House is still deciding whether or not to move forward with the Murtha plan.

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