Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet column: Obama was against war funding, now he's undecided.

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WASHINGTON -- When Barack Obama was a 2004 Senate primary candidate, he was against a $87 billion appropriation for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Now a senator poised for a White House run, Obama is undecided on Sen. Ted Kennedy's proposal to bar spending for escalating the Iraq war without congressional approval.

The Illinois Democrat on Sunday avoided committing himself when asked several times about Iraq war funding on CBS' "Face the Nation."

House and Senate Democratic leaders will advance a non-binding resolution in the coming days condemning President Bush's order to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq. The measure will win broad Democratic support and pick up GOP votes in the House and Senate.

Lawmakers are skeptical that Bush sending more soldiers to Baghdad, announced last Wednesday, will make a difference.

Bush has enough money in the budget to start moving more troops to Iraq. His problem comes in a few months, when he will have to ask Congress for a supplemental appropriation.

The Kennedy Iraq legislation will be a much tougher vote for lawmakers, including the 2008 White House contenders. Democrats won control of Congress in part by opposing the war. But there is a concern that a vote on Kennedy's plan could leave a member open to the accusation of cutting off funding for troops.

Obama said, "We need to look at what options do we have available to constrain the president, to hopefully right the course that we are on right now, but to do so in a way that makes sure that the troops that are on the ground have all the equipment and the resources they need to fulfill their mission and come home safely."

Obama's 2008 rival Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton also has not signaled her stand on Kennedy's legislation.

1 Comment

Given that critical portions of the information presented at the beginning of SJ Res 45 in October of 2002 have proven false, why can't Congress amend that resolution to allow them invoke Sec 5c of the War Powers Act then direct Bush to remove forces?

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on January 15, 2007 8:32 AM.

Obama White House announcement: Not Monday. was the previous entry in this blog.

Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said word on White House run could come "this week." is the next entry in this blog.

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