Dem Leader: It's Not 'Practical' to Stop War-Funding Vote

By Josiah Ryan | July 7, 2008 | 8:33 PM EDT

( - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told Cybercast News Service Thursday that he does not think it would be "practical" to stop the war in Iraq simply by not allowing a war-funding bill to come up for a vote on the House floor, something that it is within his power as Majority Leader to do.

Hoyer also said that the troops in harm's way in Iraq need support from Congress.

"I don't personally believe it's a practical alternative not to put a bill on the floor and not to let the House of Representatives work its will on what it wants to do on this issue," Hoyer told Cybercast News Service .

"Secondly, of course, a significant majority of the votes on the floor believe that while the troops are in harm's way we will support them," he said. "But there is also a majority on the floor that wants to change the policy and redeploy them."

According to House rules, Hoyer could terminate funding for the war by omitting war-funding legislation from the floor schedule of the House of Representatives. Were Hoyer to do this, a war-funding bill could only come up for a vote if a majority of the House members-218-signed a discharge petition over-riding the authority of the House leadership.

Temporarily, the $195 billion war funding bill, which was to be considered on the floor of the House on Thursday, has been delayed by Democratic leadership because of opposition from The Blue Dog Coalition, a group of 48 fiscally conservative Democrats. The Blue Dog Coalition has threatened not to support the legislation because the cost of a provision that provides funding for education for military veterans is not offset in another part of the budget.

Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), however, told reporters that the House will take up the bill sometime next week. "I am very confident that, next week, we will come to the floor with a bill that has the full consensus of the Democrats and hopefully can attract a large number of Republicans, as well," she told reporters at a press conference at the Capitol on Thursday.

Some anti-war activists would like to see the Democratic majority take this step.

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