From The Politico
Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., has scheduled a hearing next Tuesday in his Judiciary Committee subcommittee to explore whether Congress has the authority to cut off funding for the U.S. military campaign in Iraq. The move comes as Congress prepares to vote on a congressional resolution opposing President Bush's escalation of the war.
Feingold, a fierce war critic, will force Democrats to consider an option many consider politically suicidal: cutting off funds for the military campaign in Iraq. Democratic leaders have privately called on members to restrain from seeking any funding restrictions and focus instead on congressional resolutions condemning the Bush policy. The resolutions are nonbinding and therefore symbolic.
Republicans "would like this debate to be as whether or not we are going to be cutting off money for the troops," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently told The Politico. "The logical conclusion is that a lot of things can happen. But right now, the most important thing is to tell the president that what he has done with the escalation is wrong. And that's what we are doing, bi-partisanly."
Feingold, who chairs the Subcommittee on the Constitution, will question several witnesses, including a Library of Congress official and legal experts from Harvard, Duke, and the University of Virginia, on the issue. Senior Bush administration officials have publicly argued that Congress has no such right, but Feingold plans to introduce legislation to force President Bush to pull American forces out of the troubled country.
"Congress holds the power of the purse and if the president continues to advance his failed Iraq policy, we have the responsibility to use that power to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq," Feingold said in a statement released by his office on Thursday. "I will soon be introducing legislation to use the power of the purse to end what is clearly one of the greatest mistakes in the history of the nation's foreign policy."
LINK: Feingold Pushes Plan to Cut Off War Funds
- Mr. Joseph