The Irresponsible Congress

Article excerpt


As Congress tries to flee Washington before the Thanksgiving rush, the Democratic leadership is showing how skewed its priorities really are. Lawmakers who ostensibly "support the troops" have adopted a political course of action that is jeopardizing funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan - even as they grease the skids for hundreds of billions in additional domestic spending and lard up the defense budget with porkbarrel items (such as $3 million in defense spending to teach children to play golf.) House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid are playing a very dangerous game of political chicken with war funding that endangers the military's ability to fight against jihadist enemies of the United States such as al Qaeda.

The Defense Department warned Wednesday that it is already running out of funding for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, where nearly 175,000 American troops are risking their lives. Hours later, Mrs. Pelosi and House Democrats responded with a largely party-line 218-203 vote for legislation to provide $50 billion for the war, enough to pay for approximately three months of combat. But in reality, the money (roughly one-quarter of President Bush's request) will never reach the troops, because the legislation contains a poison pill virtually guaranteeing that Mr. Bush will veto it - a requirement that the United States immediately begin withdrawing soldiers from Iraq, with the goal of removing virtually all U. …