Saturday, January 20, 2007

Blue Dogs Bark

The Blue Dog Democrats in the House are finding their voice.

...another sizable group of House Democrats is set to propose a different course today. The Democrats' Blue Dog Coalition -- comprised of more conservative Democrats -- will hold a press conference on the war at 11:30 am. Their proposal appears likely to include important differences from Murtha's legislation.

Currently including 44 members, the group describes itself as primarily "dedicated to a core set of beliefs that transcend partisan politics, including a deep commitment to the financial stability and national security of the United States."

Some Blue Dog leaders have criticized President George W. Bush's escalation plans for Iraq. Arkansas' Mike Ross, the Blue Dogs' Communications Co-Chair, has said that "sending 21,000 new troops is not a new direction, it’s simply more of the same." Kansas's Dennis Moore, the Caucus's Co-Chair for Policy, added earlier this month that "instead of the same open-ended strategy to stay in Iraq, we need to consider options put forth by the Iraq Study Group."

RAW STORY spoke to a variety of Blue Dog Democratic staff on Thursday about their pending proposal on the Iraq war. More than one noted that deliberations on the final bill would not be concluded until late in the evening.

But one aide was able to say that "the Blue Dogs are not calling for troop withdrawal tomorrow, and they're not cutting off funding, but they do want accountability and responsibility."

Blug Dog California member Joe Baca, however, told RAW STORY he supported Murtha's bill.

"I voted against the war in Iraq and have consistently opposed it and spoken out against it." Baca said. "I support Rep. Murtha’s proposal to redeploy American troops and start to bring them out of harm’s way while turning responsibility for Iraq over to the Iraqis themselves." He also added "As a Blue Dog committed to fiscal responsibility, I am in favor of holding the Administration accountable for the massive amounts of American taxpayer dollars being spent in Iraq, particularly with reports of fraud and profiteering by contractors."

A Democratic Leadership aide told RAW STORY that Speaker Pelosi was supportive of the bipartisan resolution on Iraq put forward Wednesday in the Senate. But, the aide added that "Democrats are exploring multiple options."

The Republican Party appeared ready to capitalize on the possible divisions that the Iraq war could create for Democrats in the House.
No surprise there. I have been telling my D friends since the election that Conservatives won.

H/T Instapundit

Cross Posted at Classical Values

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