POLITICO.COMFeingold Pushes Plan to Cut Off War FundsFri Jan 26, 2007 02:20
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Feingold Pushes Plan to Cut Off War Funds
By: John Bresnahan
January 25, 2007 06:57 PM EST
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: denying funds to the military and U.S. soldiers to force a quicker end to the war. Democratic leaders have privately called on members to restrain from cutting off funding and focus 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 American forces out of the troubled country.
"Congress holds the power of the purse and of the president continues to advance his failed Iraq policy, we have 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."
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