As Josh announced this morning
, we've been making our calls to congressional leaders about whether they support the president's idea of increasing the troop level in Iraq by "15,000 to 30,000 more troops for a mission of possibly six to eight months" as outlined in The Washington Post
A number of leaders have come out already with statements, and we'll be providing a tally of those, along with what we were able to find today, a little later. For now, though, we've gotten a statement from the future House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), who had not yet taken a public position on the president's "surge" plan. He's clearly against:
I do not believe that it would be helpful to increase troop levels by 15,000 -- or even 30,000. Incoming House Armed Services Chairman Skelton has said this, the former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell agrees, and even the President's own Joint Chiefs do not think it will help. We must remain focused on a political solution and make clear to the Iraqi leadership that they have to take responsibility for the security and governance of their country. I would hope that the President will address the nation as soon as possible, outline the major changes in policy that Americans have demanded, and quickly get to work with Congress to make a major course correction in Iraq. A small increase in troop strength should not be a part of that.