We've been on the phone all day trying to nail down congressional leaders
on where they stand on President Bush's idea of increasing the troop level in Iraq. Here's the result of our day's work.
The Democrats' top leadership in the House and Senate are united against. The details are below.
Our calls to the top Republicans, however, garnered only one response. The spokeswoman for incoming Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said that he didn't have a position on the increase, because "in order for the Senator to comment on a plan, he'd have to see it first, but the Congress has not been briefed on the President's proposal, because he hasn't proposed it yet." Senate Minority Whip-elect Trent Lott (R-MS) was travelling in Mississippi and could not be reached. My calls and emails to the incoming House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) and Minority Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO) were not returned.
As for the Democrats...
After initially indicating an openness to the "surge" idea (providing that "it's part of a program to get us out of there"), incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) issued a statement
yesterday that he's no longer open: "I don't believe that more troops is the answer for Iraq."
The next Majority Whip, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) told reporters
this past weekend that "sending more soldiers to Iraq after the holidays would further drain an already depleted military."
House Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) issued a statement
today rejecting the idea of a surge.
And House Majority Leader-elect Steny Hoyer (D-MD) earlier released a similar statement