Sunday, March 11, 2007

Horse Trading for Cut-and-Run Votes

The Democrats aren't offering Bridges-to-Nowhere yet for votes to support the withdrawl in Iraq, but don't put it past them (HT: BizzyBlog via email and TigerHawk):
Democrats push pork to aid pullout bid

The Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Democrats seeking votes for their Iraq withdrawal plan have stuffed the bill it's in with billions of dollars for farms, flu preparedness, New Orleans levees, home heating and other causes.

Some critics say the Democrats are simply being opportunistic — using a must-pass measure for funding U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan to carry items that can't advance as easily on their own.

At the same time, Democratic leaders are trying to increase support for setting deadlines for ending U.S. military combat in Iraq, which they've made part of the larger legislation.

It's plain that Democrats are unwilling to approve the bill's $100 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan without the add-ons.

"The president wants to make sure we take care of Iraq, but I think we also have to make sure that we don't lose sight of what we have to do here at home," said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill.

Already, money in the bill not directly related to the war exceeds $20 billion.

The funding — ranging from $3.5 billion for medical care for veterans and active duty troops to $500 million in "emergency" money for a Western fire season that has yet to start — has raised hackles with Republicans who say Democrats are using the measure to muscle federal dollars back home.

"Wartime funding should be not used as a gravy train," said Senate GOP conservative Judd Gregg of New Hampshire...


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