House Democratic leaders, defending a plan by Rep. John Murtha, said Tuesday they will press ahead with legislation requiring all U.S. troops be fully equipped, trained and rested before being sent back to Iraq.
Despite rumors that Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco was backing away from the plan, which Republicans have decried as a "slow bleed" on the war, the speaker said Murtha's proposal on troop standards would be debated next week in committee and that she hopes to move it quickly to the floor.
The proposal, however, would allow President Bush to waive the rules if he wanted to deploy troops faster or under different standards than allowed by the measure.
"Our goal will be to raise the bar of accountability on President Bush and the Iraqi government" of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said Rep. Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., who chairs the House Democratic caucus.
"Raise the bar of accountability?" Please. As CIC he's already fully responsible, and the Dems have been bludgeoning that horse for years. What it does is allows the Dems to change the perceived restrictions and avoid actually taking any responsibility themselves. If this passes the house, it will be definitive proof that Democrats are completely spineless.
Murtha, D-Pa., a decorated Marine veteran and a longtime military booster, has long called for a troop withdrawal. As chairman of the subcommittee responsible for military spending, Murtha hoped to use the power of the purse to force the president to pull Americans out of Iraq.
Instead, in a compromise designed to hold the Democrats together, Murtha's plan would place conditions on training, equipment and deployment, but not tie the money to those conditions.
Pelosi said repeatedly in the past few days that Murtha's proposals were really nothing new because current law requires units to be trained and equipped. But current rules allow the Defense Department to waive those conditions. She wants to raise that waiver to a presidential decision.
Murtha's plan is foolish, just on constitutional grounds. But pushing the decision level to the President is just tampering with the rules, and in the end gets you nothing.
More leaches for the Dems. Bleeding the abilities of the CIC and the military to try to succeed is a real indicator that the Dems don't care about security.