Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Courtney and Iraq...

There were problems with the Blog page today, but it appears they now have them fixed.

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, is home from Washington for the week, and spent a good part of the morning talking with students at Ellis Tech in Danielson. After his address to the students, we had a chance to talk about the non-binding resolution on the president's troop surge. The resolution passed the House, but fell short in the Senate.

Courtney said he wasn't disappointed, and believes that by acting, both chambers sent strong messages to the American people that as we approach the fourth anniversary of the start of the war, Congress will no longer simply sit back and allow the Administration to do whatever it wants without some accountability. He noted that Democrats in the Senate, although unable to pass this resolution, intend to continue to bring the issue up - in a variety of ways.

Which led to the question of where does he stand on the issue of the funding for the surge. Throughout last year's campaign, Courtney said that he wasn't "there yet" to take a vote on the funding for the war. However, his comments to the students this morning sounded as if he might now be ready. So I asked him if he was now.

Courtney said he can support Congressman John Murtha's proposals to put restrictions on the funding. Murtha carries some weight in this area as chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense. Among the restrictions that he would like to require that troops be adequately trained before being deployed - and if not, not deployed. Restrictions that would require a 12-month break between deployments, etc.

"And if that prevents the president from escalating the war, so be it," he said.

Then...as I returned to the office, I found an e-mail from the Republican National Campaign Committee, talking about that very same issue - and Mr. Murtha's "real" goals and intent - as they see them, and using media reports as a means of conveying that criticism.

Such as this from the Washington Post:

"His aim, he made clear, is not to improve readiness but to 'stop the surge.' So why not straightforwardly strip the money out of the appropriations bill -- an action Congress is clearly empowered to take -- rather than try to micromanage the Army in a way that may be unconstitutional?"

And this from the NY Times:

"We fear that clever maneuvers like the one proposed by Representative John Murtha, reportedly with the backing of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, to dress up a reduction in troop strength as a "support the troops" measure won't help contain the war or make American troops safer."


Blogger mccommas said...

Wow Ray.

You asked him a toughy. Welcome back to journalism.

We all know that Courtney has always been "ready" to cut and run. He is waiting for the time when he thinks he can get away with it.

6:18 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home