Troops in Harm's Way While Congress Plays

Fifty-three days ago, President George W. Bush asked the Congress for additional resources to reinforce our troops in the field as they wage the war on terrorism on our behalf. Among other things, this included $769 million to support deployed troops in Iraq with an additional $1.5 billion to provide armor and equipment to these troops.

For Afghanistan, the president asked the Congress for $272 million to deploy a Combat Brigade Team and $99 million to support linguists in Afghanistan and provide additional support for the team mentioned above.

Shockingly, the Democratic leadership turned its back on the brave men and women in uniform by denying this critical request — ever more critical given that the Department of Defense will soon run out of money to fund certain activities of our troops already deployed in the Middle East and affect training and re-supply efforts here at home.

Rather than leaving politics aside to ensure our troops are equipped, deployed and trained to win the war on terrorism, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Reid (D-Nev.) pushed through legislation that sought to tie the hands of the commander in chief and the generals in the field on how best to carry out tactical decisions.

Worst of all, leaders in the majority used a bill designed to protect our troops to insert money for spinach farmers and other pork projects rather than focusing on the important task ahead. So now Congress is in recess — the House will not return until April 16 — and our troops' supply lines are running thin as members of Congress roll Easter eggs on the lawn and otherwise dither while our troops are engaged in active combat where they encounter real bullets, bombs and an enemy determined to kill them while protecting us. And the response of our elected representatives in Congress? Recess and break-time.

What a disgrace.

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