IRAQ, Rep. Rahm Emanuel calls for Dems to resist Bush pressure on funding Iraq debacle
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) represents Melrose Park. He's been quite hawkish on Middle East policy. He was chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) during the 2006 elections. For this reason, among others, he's considered influential.
Emanuel has written a memo calling for Congressional Democrats to hold fast against Pres. George W. Bush's bullying, threats and petulance on the Iraq supplemental bill. See Talking Points Memo (Greg Sargent).
The origin of this conflict is that Bush failed to include the cost of occupying Iraq in the DOD budget. Why he didn't include these known expenses in the annual budget is the subject of some speculation. One theory is that he wanted to conceal the true size of his budget deficit.
Bush then antagonized Congressional Democrats by escalating the troop levels without first seeking a vote in Congress. Bush anticipated he might lose that vote and felt he'd be more likely to get the money by committing the troops and then asking for the money.
His escalation later came under criticism for not including all the troops needed. After the escalation of combat troops, Bush announced that he also needed to escalate the number of support troops.
Yesterday, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that Army troops in Iraq will be involuntarily extended. Instead of serving 12-month tours they will serve 15-month tours.
The involuntary extensions are a tacit admission the Army doesn't have the troops to implement Bush's escalation which seems to be re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic so Bush can avoid admitting the whole Iraq things was a bad idea.
So, good for Rahm Emanuel. Congressman, don't take any crap from that delusional guy in the White House.