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Kingston opposes House move on war

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POSTED: April 12, 2007 5:14 a.m.
The area’s representative, Jack Kingston, (R.-Savannah) voted against a measure on funding the Iraq war that passed the U.S. House Friday, despite threats of veto from President Bush.
The legislation included troop withdrawal deadlines and Democrats were successful in passing the spending bill with a firm withdrawal date.
The House approved the $124 billion Iraq War Funding Bill and its Aug. 31, 2008, withdrawal deadline in a slim 218-212 vote, which prompted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to proclaim voters’ voices “have been heard.”
While Democrats relished in their victory, Republicans in the House described the bill as a recipe for defeat.
“The focus of this legislation is getting out, not winning,” Kingston said. “I can’t think of a war where we have tried not to win. I think that Americans have sacrificed too much, particularly the soldiers on the frontlines have sacrificed too much, to not try to win this war.”
Kingston called the troop pullout deadline “very disingenuous” and said it will lead to a superficial lull in violence as insurgents “go underground until Americans are out of town.”
“You sidestep victory for the temporary appearance of peace so that your folks can go home and then you have total chaos and a possible slaughter of the Sunnis because they’re the minority once you leave,” he said.
The representative also criticized the number of non-military spending items in the bill, including $74 million for peanut storage, $25 million for spinach growers and handlers and the application of new minimum wages in the Northern Mariana Islands and America Samoa.
“You have $23 billion in non-military spending in this bill,” Kingston said. “The war situation is important enough that we shouldn’t muddy the water with all of this stuff.”
The congressman conceded, however, the immediate need to fund the war will eventually bring all sides together.
“The legislative branch and executive branch are going to collide and basically have to come out with a compromise,” Kingston said. “I believe the compromise will consist of the best parts they (Democrats) put in the bill about Iraqi government and troop readiness and training, but won’t have hard, fast deadlines and the troop withdrawal date.”
 

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