Finally, 105 days after President Bush sent Congress his urgent request for funds to support our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, it looks like Reid, Pelosi, and Murtha have decided that they have gotten all the partisan political points to be gained from withholding funds for our troops fighting the war:
In grudging concessions to President Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of billions of dollars in spending on domestic programs, officials said Monday.Democratic leaders have said they hope to send a war spending bill to President Bush by week's end, with the intention was to avoid a veto.
It's about time. Congress' failure to act in a responsible and timely way belies the Democrats claims that they support the troops, if not the mission. The Delay in providing the funding has resulted in problems for our troops.
The Defense Department has notified Congress that in order to meet the force protection needs of the Marine Corps and the Army, it has been forced to borrow funds from other Marine and Army procurement programs. The borrowing means using funding intended for tactical vehicle replacement, Humvees and Humvee equipment, the tactical communications modernization program, and upgrades for other vehicles.
The borrowing forced by the Democrats and their preference to make partisan political points rather than fund the troops has negative impacts. On April 2, Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, Adm. Michael G. Mullen, Gen. T. Michael Moseley, and Gen. James T. Conway, sent a letter to the House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, stating:
Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, the Armed Services will be forced to take increasingly disruptive measures in order to sustain combat operations. The impacts on readiness and quality of life could be profound. … Reprogramming is a short-term, cost-inefficient solution that wastes our limited resources. Spending restrictions will delay and disrupt our follow-on forces as they prepare for war, possibly compromising future readiness and strategic agility.In a March 28, letter to Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell, Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker and Acting Secretary of the Army Pete Geren, warned:
Without approval of the supplemental funds in April, we will be forced to take increasingly draconian measures which will impact Army readiness and impose hardships on our soldiers and their families.Right, the Democrats support the troops.
If the Democrats truly want to end the war, they can refuse to fund it. If they don't want to end the war, the Democrats should provide the required funds to fight it. Having made their political points, it is way past time for the Democrats to stop using the money, needed to support our troops fighting the war, to seek some partisan political advantage.