House Democrats to fund war to appear 'supportive of troops'
House Democrats are poised to approve at least $170 billion in new war funding early next month in hopes of maneuvering domestic spending in with it, say lawmakers and aides to the Congressional Quarterly.
The bill, estimates House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee chair John P. Murtha (D-PA), would allocate approximately $102 billion during fiscal year 2008, with an additional $70 billion for 2009.
The strategy, said one anonymous senior Democrat, is to satisfy the Republicans' appetite for war funding while at the same time effectively blocking accusations of Democrats being unsupportive to the troops.
"We are not going to do this supplemental if it includes stuff that is not defense-related," countered House Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO).
"Any attempt by the Democrat leadership to use procedural gimmickry to jam billions in unrelated spending down the throats of the American public," added ranking House Appropriations Committee member Jerry Lewis (R-CA), "will ignite the full and unadulterated opposition from the Republican members of this committee."