Dems blast Bush over Iraq funding

Democratic leaders warned Wednesday that Congress must stop writing “blank checks” for the Iraq war, after a report said the White House would request an extra 50 billion dollars in funding.

The Pentagon however said the report by the Washington Post that President George W. Bush could seek to take spending on the Iraq and Afghan wars to three billion dollars a week, was “premature.”

Democratic leaders have tried and failed to use past emergency funding bills for the war to force Bush to accept troop withdrawal timetables.

They signalled Wednesday they would use any new request to mount a new bid to change war strategy, as both sides gird for crucial testimony on the war by Iraq commander General David Petraeus and Ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker.

A statement issued by House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office blamed Bush for pursuing “failed policies” in Iraq that had cost dearly in lives and dollars.

“The American people are demanding a new direction on the Iraq war not another quarterly invoice,” the statement said.

“It is time to wind down this war and begin to bring our troops home safely and soon.”

Veteran Democratic Senator Robert Byrd, who chairs the powerful Appropriations committee, which doles out cash for government programs, also reacted sharply.

“The Congress must not continue to cede its constitutional authority and simply write blank checks for the misguided policy in Iraq,” Byrd said in a statement.

“The latest reports of staggering waste, fraud and abuse in the rebuilding of Iraq further highlight the need to take a hard look at this new request from the White House.”

Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell however said Defense Secretary Robert Gates had been surprised to see the report, saying a final figure had yet to be reached.

“Such stories as for how much we’re going to ask for, if we ask for more money, are premature,” he said.

A new request for funding would be a sign Bush anticipates prevailing in a showdown with the Democratic-controlled Congress which has been pushing for troop withdrawal.

The request “is being prepared now in the belief that Congress will be unlikely to balk so soon after hearing the two officials argue that there are promising developments in Iraq but that they need more time to solidify the progress,” the newspaper said, citing an unnamed congressional aide.

The White House refused to confirm the reports.

“We have said previously that after General Petraeus reports we will be evaluating what adjustments may need to be made to our pending FY08 (fiscal year 2008) supplemental request, which was sent up in February with the rest of the budget,” said national security spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

“I’m going to decline to speculate on this as General Petraeus has not testified nor have any decisions been made at this stage about whether, when, or what specific changes could be made,” he said.

In speeches to military veterans this week, Bush has touted signs of progress in Iraq and the need for a sustained military offensive like the one announced earlier this year which sent 30,000 extra troops to Iraq, bringing the total number of troops to around 160,000.

“There are unmistakable signs that our strategy is achieving the objectives we set out,” Bush said on Tuesday. “The momentum is now on our side.”

The 50 billion dollars would be in addition to the 460 billion dollars in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and 147 billion dollars in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.


  1. geyser

    Unless Democrats have grown a Back Bone, they have nerve speaking out about bush asking for more money towards the war. They bent and eventually broke the last time they went through this.
    They all ranted and raved, no money without a plan for troop withdrawl. Bush said no plan, the Demos said aww shucks and gave it up anyway.
    They are so afraid of standing up to bush even when only months remain on his tour. Will bush snub them by not inviting them to another Breakfast or what. The Demos are cowards, what could bush possibly do to hurt them, make up lies?
    The Demos have the power, whatever bush has in mind to do, he will go ahead and do them whether the money is given or not.
    He’s treated the Demos as if they weren’t there since given the office of the president, he’s not about to start respecting them now.

    Taking One Day at a Time

  2. ekaton

    So Bush wants another billion a week for his ego war. Well I’d like another thousand a week for my own uses. Unfortunately I can’t just write a check and produce money out of thin air like the Federal Reserve. Oh, no. It is left to me to pay China back with interest for Bush’s ego wars in the Middle East. Talk about a stacked deck in a rigged game. I don’t even want to play and yet I must pay. Would someone please tell me why I should not be enraged? We taxpayers are now paying 120 billion dollars a year for Iraq, and Bush now wants us to pay 170 billion dollars a year to ensure the current record $120 billion dollars a year in oil company profits which does not even take into account the $15 billion a year they already receive in tax CREDITS, which is also money directly out of our pockets. Please tell me why I should not be outraged. What the hell is wrong with us? We allow this.

    Kent Shaw

  3. Doreen

    Okay, if the government won’t cut off the funding why don’t the (70-80%) Americans who are fed up and angry as hell just stop paying their federal taxes and don’t file a 1040 either. We need a Shock and Awe tax revolt. Also remember, it’s a direct tax which by the Constitution is prohibited.

    Did anyone see Aaron Russo’s Freedom to Fascism?? (Was very saddened to hear of his passing from cancer last week.)

    Google: “War Tax Resistance” for tons of good information too.

    These are dire times in need of extreme actions.


  4. ekaton

    The democrats need to either cut off war funding or just shut their stupid pieholes. Just shut up. I’m sick of their lies as well as Bush’s. Just shut up.

    Kent Shaw

  5. VietnamVet

    I have posted this elsewhere, but it seems appropriate here also:

    Its all about that OIL and who is to finally control it. That’s why they have to keep dipping into the till and will do so, even if it drives this nation into financial ruin. Even at least one of Bush’s staunch supporters, Australia, now admits that it was about oil all along. See it at:

    “Australia’s Minister for Defence Brendan Nelson yesterday acknowledged that maintaining control over Iraq’s vast oil reserves was a critical factor behind the ongoing US-led occupation. His comments came just before Prime Minister John Howard delivered a major foreign policy address, similarly stressing the need to ensure “energy security” amid growing “great power competition” in the Middle East.”

    But, lets not hold our breaths while Bush and his oil barons and other thugs admit the same.

  6. Steve Horn

    Ahh more hot air from the hill – with no substance or real conviction behind it – Pelousy will rant and rave, others will join in, Hillary and others will strive to stake out the moral high ground – and then they’ll cave – give “W” exactly what he wants – and moan about how they “had” to do it …..

    Useless, spineless cocktail party liberals – the most dangerous group in America …

  7. Citroyen

    We should tell the candidates – including Obama and Clinton – that if they vote to continue to fund the war we will not vote for them.

    They are acting as if they have the anti-war vote sewn up.
    I wouldn’t vote for either of them.

  8. gene

    Truely (above) the face of evil.

    This idiot president continues and congress (a sick bunch of human waste) allows this looser to continue his destruction of a nation that has (already) gone down the drain.

    As the article says more blank checks to a “blank” talking head.


    Trillions for bogus defense – Even more for tribute.

    John Hanks, Laramie, Wyoming

  10. Caine

    I just love it when I hear things like:
    “Democratic leaders warned Wednesday that Congress must stop writing blank checks”
    “It is time to wind down this war and begin to bring our troops home safely and soon.”
    “The Congress must not continue to cede its constitutional authority and simply write blank checks for the misguided policy in Iraq,” Byrd said in a statement.
    and…on…and…on …and…on!

    Then they turn around and continue to allow Bush to do it!!

    The dems could stop the war if they really wanted to, but they won’t!! Hell. They’ll probably give him more than he even asks for, yet again!!!

  11. Caine

    Good read Vietnam Vet. Funny what happened next (from your link):
    “Shortly after the broadcast of Nelson’s radio interview, senior government ministers attempted to place the cat firmly back in the bag.”

    I guess someone got scared that the truth might get back to the American public. Not that it isn’t here already, but, unfortunately, not many Americans seem to be paying attention. Or, they just don’t care. :(

  12. Klaus Hergeschimmer

    The GAO report was leaked early to the Washington Posts Tom Ricks by an anynomous source because the source was worried the Chimp Administration at its highest goverment levels would water it down like it watered down the National Intelligence Eastimate on
    the occupation of Iraq.

    Lisa Mullins of The World on NPR interviewed Tom Ricks of the Post. hear her short interview by with Ricks on this link.

    The Democrats are nothing less than Chimp-Ettes and
    they should shut their Banana Holes with their talk of standing up to the Chimp.

    If the Democrats only knew what a laughingstock they are, but they’re too busy primping & preening themselves for the 2008 elections.

    Damn Jack Ass Party