Locals React to War Funding Debate

By: Katherine Cook Email
By: Katherine Cook Email

On Sunday, Vice President Dick Cheney said he believes Democratic lawmakers will back down and approve a war spending bill, that does not call for troops to leave Iraq. In fact, Vice President Cheney says he's "willing to bet" that Democratic lawmakers will blink.

On the CBS program "Face the Nation," Cheney said he thinks Congress will approve a war-spending bill that doesn't call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq, saying lawmakers will not leave the troops in the field without the resources they need.

"I don't think that a majority of Democrats in Congress want to leave America's fighting forces in harm's way without the resources they need to defend themselves," said Cheney.

Cheney's bold statement is stirring up mixed reaction here in Southern Colorado. Rob Neilsen owns The Army Store on B Street, and says after 4 years in Iraq, It's time to bring troops home.

"I want them to come home because they need to be home," said Neilsen. "After 3 or 4 deployments, c'mon, that's enough."

Private Josh Ervin agrees, and he wears a uniform.

"Honestly, I feel we need to pull back," said Ervin. "We need to come back home, too many people are dying over there and we're not solving anything."

And in Congress, nothing is being solved when it comes to whether Democrats will approve a war spending bill that doesn't call for troops to leave Iraq. That's what President Bush wants them to do, and war supporter Jeremi Crites agrees. He says if Democratic law makers cared about the troops, they'd throw politics aside and focus on the task at hand.

"We need to do what we gotta do to keep our troops over there," said Crites. "We need to keep them as safe as they can be, but I think pulling out and not funding them is going to be dangerous for everyone."

The Vice President says time is of the essence when it comes to funding troops in Iraq.

"If we don't get money flowing here shortly, like by the end of this month, it will begin to have an impact," said Cheney.

Nielsen has his own concerns about how time will impact troops.

"They're gonna be there for at least 2 or 3 more years," said Nielsen.

The House and Senate should negotiate war spending legislation this week. The Democratic proposal would approve $96 billion in military funding and make a plan for when troops could start coming home.


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