House Republicans plan to put Iraq war up for debate
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Thursday May 25, 2006
House Republican leaders, in a significant political gamble, are planning to hold a free-flowing debate over the Iraq war on the House floor in coming weeks, facing head-on what may be the most difficult issue to threaten pro-war incumbents in the fall election, the (registration-restricted) CHICAGO TRIBUNE reports Thursday. Excerpts
"We are the people's house, and serious issues of the day ought to be debated here in the House," said House Majority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio). "And a lot of members on both sides of the aisle have concerns about where we are, what is going on. Others have concerns that the whole story in Iraq isn't being told in terms of all the good things that are happening there."
The decision to hold a public debate on an issue that has sent President Bush's approval ratings tumbling and put Democrats within striking distance of recapturing the House reflects the growing pressure facing Republicans from bad news about the war. GOP leaders hope the forum will give their endangered incumbents a chance to distance themselves from the war, argue that it is going better than most recognize, or both.
Wars and other military conflicts have long triggered sharp emotions in Congress, imperiling political careers and prompting public despondency as well as enthusiasm. With the winding down of the Vietnam War and revelations about the Watergate scandal, voters swept in a new freshman class with 92 members in 1974, roiling the usually staid House with an influx of largely liberal members.
FULL STORY HERE.