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No More Blank Checks, Top Dem. Senator Tells White House. Mo War Money without Withdrawal Plan

We like this man, Senator Dick Durbin of Illinois [1]. In 2002 he voted Nay to authorizing military force against Iraq. On Friday, Sept. 7, Durbin put the White House on notice [2] that he, the Assistant Majority Leader, will not vote for any more Iraq war funding that is not tied to a plan for withdrawing troops. The Chicago Tribune’s online Washington blog “The Swamp” [3] reports that in his speech to the Center for National Policy [4] in Washington, Durbin held a hard line, emphasizing that giving money signifies approval, and said members of Congress face a “moral obligation” to stop feeding money to the war.

From “The Swamp”:

Durbin, the second-ranking Democrat in the Senate, has been a consistent critic of the war in Iraq but is a pragmatic party leader attuned to political reality. He voted against authorization for the war in 2002 but has since voted for the emergency funding packages that have financed the war.

“I used to think this war was our worst foreign policy mistake in a generation. Now I think it is our worst foreign policy mistake ever,” he added.

“This Congress can’t give President Bush another blank check for his war in Iraq,” Durbin said. Later, he added, “The Consitution gives Congress a means to force the President to change course: the power of the purse. For the sake of our long-term national security interests, Congress needs to use that authority now.”
Richard J. Durbin [1]
Washington : (202) 224-2152
Chicago : (312) 353-4952

Is there any legislation pending in Congress that would compel the White House to put all requests for war funding in the annual Defense appropriations bill, rather than in annual emergency funding packages? If you know, drop us a line [5].

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