Tell Tiahrt to support our troops
When the Appropriations committee voted on the latest Iraq spending, they had some tough choices to make. Should we adequately equipped and armor troops deployed to Iraq? After four years of deployments, should we make sure that troops have the time back home that they are supposed to have? Should we ensure that troops sent to war be properly trained? The committee said yes, but Todd Tiahrt said no.
In the Appropriations committee vote, Kansas’ Todd Tiahrt joined the other Republicans in opposing those provisions. When the bill comes to the floor in the next few days, he will have another chance to choose. Will Tiahrt stand for the safety and welfare of the soldiers who serve this nation, or will he prefer the cheap symbolism of opposing these simple requirements just because Democrats proposed them?
Call 202–225-6216 and tell Congressman Tiahrt to support our troops and to vote for the Iraq Accountability Act in its current form. The bill is likely to come to a vote this week, so time is of the essence.
Apparently, Mr. Rosenau, you did not read the bill you wrote about. If you are trying to educate the students attending KU, please do so honestly.
House Democratic leaders want to add $24.6 billion to President Bush’s $95 B request for U.S. troops, but it’s not for more weaponry or life-saving armor.
The bill contains $25M in subsidies for spinach growers (Rep. Sam Farr, D‑Calif). Another $75M to insure proper storage for peanuts for 3 Democrats from Georgia. For more Democrats — 1.48B for livestock ranchers, $20M to reclaim damaged farmlands, $500M for fire suppression and $120M for shrimp and Atlantic fishing interests.
The war supplemental legislation voted out of the Appropriations Committee was an exercise in arrogance that demonstrated the utter contempt the Dems have for the American people and their hard earned tax dollars. And, most cetainly not for the safety of this Country.
When President Bush first made his request for an emergency spending package, Republicans laid out two important principles: Congress should support our troops in combat without strings attached, and the emergency bill should not be used to fund pork-barrel projects and other unnecessary spending.
Unfortunately, the Democrats’ proposal violates both principles. According to Rep. John Murtha, D‑Pa., their measure ensures our troops “won’t have the equipment” and “won’t be able to do the work” necessary to defeat our enemies.
Please get your facts straight, Sir. We are at war with a ruthless global terrorist network. God Bless Rep. Todd Tiahrt for standing up and doing the right thing.
Most ethical congress in history? Indeed.
Elsha, I think your diversion into the additional funds is interesting, but doesn’t justify a claim of dishonesty.
As you note, Tiahrt opposes attaching strings to these funds, including such onerous strings as requiring adequate body armor and insisting that troops being deployed to an active combat zone be certified as “fully mission capable.” Troop deployments must meet Pentagon regulations, which forbid deployments of units which have been deployed within a year (210 days for Marine Reserves).
It’s all well and good to point to an arbitrary policy and insist that this bill violates that arbitrary policy, but it doesn’t prove that that’s a bad thing. A policy that says Congress shouldn’t ensure that money is spent wisely is simply an abdication of the core of Congress’s power — the power of the purse. Congress should have a voice, and that includes attaching strings to funds. The question is whether those strings are wise or unwise, and these ones are wise.
As for the non-defense funds allocated, it looks like some of them were funds previously allocated in 2006, but which the previous Congress never got around to passing. People were counting on those funds, and Congress is in the process of restoring things that got lost in the Continuing Resolutions. I’ve haven’t read the whole bill, but I don’t see any bridges to nowhere or similar boondoggles that. I question the characterization of these as “earmarks.”
I don’t know where you are from Elsha, but livestock are a big part of the economy here in Kansas, and a lot of ranchers got badly hurt by heavy snows this winter. I’ll grant that a defense bill is an unfortunate place to put that appropriation, but I see nothing unethical about any of the examples you cite. Honestly, are you saying we shouldn’t fund fire suppression? Continued aid to the Gulf Coast and victims of Katrina? Aid for heating low-income homes?
A different leader might have promised those appropriations would get added to a later bill in exchange for support for the supplemental. The quid pro quo would be less obvious, but no less powerful. Alas and alack, that’s how things have always gotten done in Congress. Indeed, the early Congresses appropriated pretty much everything according to “earmarks,” and no one has ever claimed that such horse-trading was unethical.
None of this should be taken as a defense of earmarks per se, nor of every element of this bill. My point is just that Elsha’s comment seems to offer more smoke than fire.
“Congress should support our troops in combat without strings attached, and the emergency bill should not be used to fund pork-barrel projects and other unnecessary spending.” This is an arbitrary policy?
You seriously think its a good thing to put supports for Kansas ranchers in a military appropriations bill?
Sure and lets add in tennis shoes for all the poor kids in Delaware too! Anybody need a fire extinguisher?
You are funny…
A few points, Daprez.
First, the 2006 “emergency bill” providing “military appropriations” also contained funding for rural development, the Agricultural Research Service, Emergency Watershed Protection, a “prohibition on assistance for the Palestinian Authority,” funds for the FBI, DEA, ATF and Marshals, disaster assistance for farmers and foresters, not to mention the Child Survival and Health Programs fund. Plus funding for the Capitol power plant, NASA and NOAA. I’ll bet you’d find the same thing in the 2005 bill.
Furthermore, in what sense is this truly an emergency bill? We’re four years into this boondoggle, with no end in sight. The measures being added were programs approved by the previous Congress’s Appropriations committee but which never got final approval because the old leadership was too incompetent to get their jobs done. So that spending got added to this bill to prevent programs from shutting down.
The question is whether these are good policies or bad, not whether this bill is an emergency bill or a military assistance bill. If they are good policies and programs, who cares what bill they are attached to? If bad, they should be attached to nothing. The Katrina reconstruction needs funds. An existing peanut storage program needs funds. Farmers whose crops or ranchers whose cattle were lost need assistance that was promised to them. The Big Red One needs barracks. These are good programs, and obsessing about whether they should be attached to this bill or that is a shell game, a way to avoid the real issue.
The real issue is that opposition to this bill is a result of Congress making a real and concerted effort to exercise oversight of the war, and to ensure that troops are operating safely. That they’ve got body armor. That they are not deployed unless certified as combat ready. That they are not deployed for longer than DoD regs permit. That is why people oppose this bill, and they can’t really say why those are bad things to enforce.