RUSH: Senator Kennedy is delivering a speech at one o’clock. He’s calling it a prequel to the president’s speech tomorrow night. We have some audio sound bites from Senator Kennedy. Keep in mind now these are sound bites from a man and a party who profess, consistently, their “support for the troops.” Senator Kennedy is making the rounds on TV today. On the Today Show, Meredith Vieira asked him this question. “Just two days ago your Democrat colleague, Senator Biden, said as a practical matter there’s no way to say, ‘Mr. President stop the surge.’ What exactly are you proposing, Senator Kennedy? What do you hope to accomplish?”
KENNEDY: My proposal is, uh, a very simple. It just says that historically the Congress has the power of the purse, and what we are saying is that before the president sends additional American troops into uh, the civil war, uh, that the president has to come back to the Congress and get the authority, uh, for that deployment.
RUSH: Meredith Vieira says, “But senator, but senator, doesn’t he already have that authority and doesn’t he set policy?”
KENNEDY: We have that, uh, authority. We have not used it in the Iraq war but we have used it at other times. We used it in the Lebanon conflict. We even used it, uh, during the, uh, Vietnam situation. Those that want to support the president will have the opportunity to vote in the United States Congress and Senate to go ahead and send those troops over there. Those that do not will have an opportunity to vote “no.” That is the power of the purse. That’s Article 1 of the Constitution. We have that power. We have done that historically.
RUSH: Now, that’s true. We’ve always said, “If they want to de-fund it, that’s their prerogative. They can do it.” The problem is Senator Kennedy says he can split the baby. He can de-fund this surge while not touching the whole operation. That’s going to be problematic because the Senate and Congress signed a resolution back in 2001 and demanded another one in 2002, and they gave the president authority to use his judgment to use force around the world wherever he thought necessary to protect United States interests. That happened after 9/11. You might remember 9/11. I think the World Trade Center buildings were destroyed and the Pentagon was hit, in case you’ve forgotten, and after that, Congress pretty much gave him a blank check. Now they’re going to come back. That’s what the administration, by the way, they’re falling back: We’ve already got the authority; they’ve already voted on this. Now they want to go back? But if they want to vote to purge the funds on the surge — to purge the surge — if you will, but not anything else to deal with Iraq, obviously let ’em do it. Let ’em go on record with this. That’s fine with me. I wouldn’t mind it at all. Meredith Vieira then said, “Do you believe, senator, that we should cut funding for the war and begin withdrawing our troops immediately?
KENNEDY: If you’re talking about am I prepared now to cut off funding for troops that are there, the answer is no. What I do believe is that we ought to have a vote and we ought to have a debate and we ought to say, “The Congress has the authority. We have the power.”
RUSH: So as I predicted, as I said, he wants to split the baby. No, we’re not going to deal with the troops that are already there! We want to cut the money for the troops that are heading off there. We want to stop this incremental surge. That’s going to be a fun thing to watch if this actually happens — and as I say, he’s gotta speech on all this that he will deliver as a “prequel.” Now, over in the House, Jack Murtha is going to do the same thing. He was on with Chris Matthews last night who said, “Biden, he was on Meet the Press. He was saying Congress doesn’t have the ability to cut off spending for this war. I don’t know if that’s true. Is it?”
MURTHA: Well, that’s not true at all. If they have a request for additional funds in the supplemental, and it’s going to take them two or three months for them to get these troops out in the field, we have every ability.
RUSH: And Matthews said, “Well, the conservative Republicans dumped all over the idea of creating economic development by jobs programs, public works, infrastructure in the country. Why are we spending money in Iraq to buy their hearts and minds in a way we would have never done at home?” That’s unbelievable! That question is unbelievable!
MURTHA: Not only that, but the $8 billion that we’re spending a month, Chris, this is the big problem. There are so many things we could have done, whether it’s Medicare, whether it’s education, and whether it’s roads, sewage and water. Basic things like that, that’s what we can spend it on.
RUSH: Come on! We are being treated as though we’re a Third World country. Folks, we are going broke spending money on education, on health care, on sewage and roads! We have got such redundancy in all of these programs, and I for one resent this insinuation that we are not spending money on things and people in this country that we are spending it on in Iraq. That is, frankly, ridiculous and it is irresponsible, but it’s right out of the Democrats’ playbook — and with this passive population we’ve got, it sells.