It seems that wacky congressman John Murtha will be in command of the democrat strategy to undermine the troops and their mission in Iraq. In a blatant power grab, Murtha plans to push the Senate and the House to place restrictions on the funding measures that will force his beloved redeployment. Robert Novak has all the details.
WASHINGTON — After 16 undistinguished terms in Congress, Rep. John P. Murtha at long last felt his moment had arrived. He could not keep quiet the secret Democratic strategy that he had forged for the promised “second step” against President Bush’s Iraq policy (after the “first step” non-binding resolution of disapproval). In an interview last Thursday with the anti-war website MoveCongress.org, he revealed plans to put conditions on funding of U.S. troops. His message: I am running this show.
Indeed, he is. Murtha and his ally, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, were humiliated last Nov. 16 when the Democratic Caucus overwhelmingly voted against Murtha as majority leader. Three months later, Murtha has shaped party policy that would cripple Bush’s Iraq troop surge by placing conditions on funding. That represents the most daring congressional attempt to micromanage ongoing armed hostilities in nearly two centuries, since the Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War challenged President Abraham Lincoln. Murtha’s plan did not surprise Republicans. They were poised to contend that his proposed amendment to the supplemental appropriations bill would effectively cut off funding for the war, confronting moderate Democrats elected after promising voters to support troops. But the Senate rule requiring 60 votes to end debate, which prevented final passage of the non-binding resolution rejecting the troop surge, would not affect Murtha’s plan because appropriations have to be passed and cannot be filibustered.