Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Pelosi Won’t Back Obey’s Call for Timelines in War Supplemental

May 6, 2009 – 12:14 p.m.
By Edward Epstein, CQ Staff

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday she won’t support any timelines for making progress in Afghanistan or Pakistan as Congress considers a 2009 military supplementary spending bill, putting her at odds with her chairman of the Appropriations panel.

Speaking to reporters, Pelosi, D-Calif., praised President Obama for emphasizing military and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan and said the new president needs an unspecified period of time to see if his strategy can work.

“The president now has to take the time that is necessary to keep the American people safe, to stabilize the region, and to do so in a way that makes everyone who has an interest in the stability of Afghanistan to — to make an investment there,” she said.

“So how long will it take? I don’t know, but it is essential to our security that we fight terrorism there,” she added.

In opposing a timeline, Pelosi took a position contrary to that of Appropriations Committee Chairman David R. Obey , who says he wants to see progress within a year. Pelosi said Obey was “speaking his own opinion.”

Obey’s committee plans to mark up the supplemental legislation on Thursday. It is expected on the House floor next week.

Pelosi, who vigorously opposed the Iraq War and tried repeatedly to attach a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq to supplemental spending legislation enacted under President George W. Bush , also appealed to her fellow anti-war Democrats to support Obama’s spending proposal.

She said they should keep in mind that in addition to Obama’s new strategy, the president also has said he will end the Bush administration practice of funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through supplementals. Democrats charged that using supplementals shielded the true costs of the wars.

“My message to my members is, this is it,” she said. “The president has refocused our efforts in Afghanistan. He’s made this request. He has a path to ending the war in Iraq. That will happen. So we have a plan for both places, and this is the president’s request to fund that. I hope you can vote for it.”

CQ © 2007 All Rights Reserved | Congressional Quarterly Inc. 1255 22nd Street N.W. Washington, D.C. 20037 | 202-419-8500

No comments:

Blog Archive