by Connie Hair (more by this author)
Posted 06/05/2009 ET
Updated 06/05/2009 ET
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) at her weekly press conference yesterday continued dodging questions about her accusations that the CIA lied to Congress about waterboarding terrorist detainees.
Pelosi was pressed by reporters on whether she continued to receive briefings and admitted that she is still receiving the CIA presentatoins. She refused to answer when this humble correspondent asked whether or not she believes intelligence professionals are still lying to her.
House Republican leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) spoke about Pelosi’s continued stonewalling at his own presser that followed shortly afterward.
“It’s been three weeks since I asked Speaker Pelosi to back up her allegations that the CIA lied to her or purposely misled her,” Boehner said. “She made this claim, and it's her responsibility to either put forward evidence that they did, in fact, lie to her, which would be a crime, or she needs to retract her statements and apologize. Allowing this to hang out there is unconscionable. And I just think the -- the silence from Speaker Pelosi is deafening.”
Boehner said that Pelosi “believes that it's just all going to go away. Well, just trust me: it's not going to go away.”
War Supplemental Put on Hold
Democrats have had to put the war supplemental to fund the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on hold because they lack the votes to pass the modified bill that came out of conference. The Democrat leadership has reduced the amount of the supplemental for the troops and tacked on $108 billion in bailout funding for foreign governments through the International Monetary Fund (IMF). There is a large contingent of far left Democrats who always vote against funding our troops. Given the billions now included for the IMF global bailout, the Republicans are refusing to support the bill.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) led the charge to fight the addition of these bailout funds on this “must pass” funding for our troops.
“Clearly the Democratic leadership is having a tough time getting their members to support flawed legislation that reduces funding for our troops from the level originally passed by the House and funds a bailout for foreign nations,” Hensarling said. “I have led a group of House Republicans urging Democratic leadership to remove this $108 billion foreign bailout paid for by U.S. taxpayers. As we have done time after time, Republicans are eager to support our troops; but we will not stand by and let Democrats wrap pork barrel spending and a global bailout in the American flag.”
But Republicans had more problems with the pork and the IMF global bailout than just the vehicle the Democrats chose. The final conference report not only cut $5 billion from troop funding in order to send the bailout funds to the IMF but the funding would have no restrictions. Any IMF member could apply for the loans including Iran, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Burma.
That finally seemed to rankle some Democrats. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.) in a letter to colleagues yesterday said, “We face the very real possibility that some of the world’s worst regimes will benefit from the additional resources provided to the IMF, World Bank and other international institutions, unless the U.S. works vigilantly to deny this assistance.”
As if that weren’t enough to oppose the funding, the New York Times reported on May 27 that Hezbollah is in talks with the IMF about continuing loans to Lebanon should they win the election.
But the crème de la crème: in order to loan the IMF $108 billion, the U.S. will have to borrow the money from other countries, like China.
Republican Whip Eric Cantor spoke about the absurdity of the Democrat plan yesterday.
“Borrowing money from China for a global bailout of the IMF makes no sense, particularly when China itself has not made the same commitment. … The possibility that tax dollars reserved for our military could fall into the hands of terrorists or their supporters is an affront to our troops. The truth is that Democrats currently don’t have the support needed to pass this bill, which is why it has been delayed.”
Republicans Push Through Gitmo ‘No-Fly’ Amendment
Rep. Peter T. King (R-N.Y.), ranking Republican of the Committee on Homeland Security, and Rep. Mark Souder (R-Ind.) offered a provision to amend the Transportation Security Administration Authorization Act that requires that Guantanamo detainees be placed on the “No Fly List,” unless the President certifies in writing that a detainee poses no threat. The amendment passed 412-12.
Souder had offered a ‘No Fly’ amendment in committee, but the Democrats weakened it with language that would allow the President to have final say on the Gitmo terrorists’ placement on the list that would bar them from commercial airline flight.
“With the overwhelming passage of this amendment, I am encouraged that Democrats are beginning to see the serious homeland security implications of President Obama’s decision to close Guantanamo and possibly release certain detainees into the United States,” King said. “This vote is a clear statement of the sense of Congress; the detainees at Guantanamo are dangerous, have fought U.S. troops and have been captured on the battlefield of a war that began when al Qaeda used commercial airliners to kill thousands of innocent Americans. More recently, an al Qaeda plot to take down airliners with liquid explosives proved that commercial airliners continue to be a target of terrorists.”
“President Obama has yet to give the American people an answer to the question of whether he will release Guantanamo detainees into the United States,” King concluded. “Given the fact that at least 74 already-released Guantanamo detainees have returned to the fight against the United States, placing Guantanamo detainees on the ‘No Fly List’ is a necessary and reasonable action for Congress to take. Forcing Americans to sit next to terrorists on commercial airliners would be outrageous.”