Here's How Dem Congress 'Supports' the Troops:
Reid: Pull Troops or We Won’t Pay Them
By Amanda Carpenter
If Majority Leader Harry Reid can’t start pulling troops out of Iraq, he doesn’t want to start paying them any more either.
After an amendment to begin withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days failed to receive the 60 votes needed to proceed, Reid set the entire defense authorization bill aside. By doing so, he shelved a 3.5 percent pay raise for all uniformed service personnel, $4 billion in equipment upgrades and a new program to treat traumatic brain injuries.
To increase pressure on Republicans to support the measure, sponsored by Sen. Carl Levin (D.-Mich.) and Sen. Jack Reed (D.-R.I.), Reid threw the Senate into an all night session on Tuesday evening that lasted through Wednesday morning. Levin-Reid fell eight votes short, 52-47.
“There are two things that I want to accomplish,” Reid told reporters immediately after the amendment vote. “One is to pass a defense authorization bill, but with a deadline dealing with Iraq. Once we put that together, we'll move forward on it.”
The defense authorization bill stipulates what defense projects receive federal money. After the authorization bill is passed, the Senate must pass a separate defense spending bill to release money to fund the authorized projects. The Senate has until September 30, when the fiscal year 2007 ends, to pass both bills.
In a Friday speech, President Bush stressed the importance of quickly passing the authorization bill. The President said, “The House and Senate are now scheduled to leave for their August recess before passing a bill to support our troops and their missions. Even members of Congress who no longer support our effort in Iraq should at least be able to provide an increase in pay for our troops fighting there. When Congress returns after Labor Day, there will be less than one month before the fiscal year ends and current funds for Defense Department operations run out.”