November 30th, 2009
05:10 AM ET
4 years ago

Obey questions Afghan war, explains his war tax proposal

Washington (CNN) – A leading congressional Democrat who is the chief proponent of a new tax that would fund future military operations in Afghanistan suggested Sunday that continuing to fight the Afghan war under current conditions is “a fool’s errand” and, at the same time, said that his tax proposal would create a sense of shared sacrifice that has been missing in the last eight years.

Rep. David Obey, a Democrat from Wisconsin, is expressing serious reservations about the U.S. military effort in Afghanistan - just days before President Obama is expected to announce a substantial increase in U.S. troops in the country.

“The problem is that you can have the best policy in the world, but if you don't have the tools to implement it, it isn't worth a beanbag,” Obey said on CNN’s State of the Union, “And I don't think we have the tools in the Pakistani government and I don't think we have the tools in the Afghan government. And until we do, I think much of what we do is a fool's errand.”

Although Obey praised the process the president has used to revamp military strategy in Afghanistan, the Wisconsin Democrat who is chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, said his differing opinion of the war is caused by consideration of the country’s long term fiscal resources and needs.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • David Obey • State of the Union
November 30th, 2009
04:57 AM ET
4 years ago

POLITICAL HOT TOPICS: November 30, 2009

The CNN Washington Bureau’s morning speed read of the top stories making news from around the country and the world.

WASHINGTON/POLITICAL
For the latest political news: www.CNNPolitics.com

CNN: Senate health care debate to focus on Democratic divide
With Republican opposition unanimous so far, the Senate debate starting Monday on a comprehensive health care bill will focus on bridging differences among the majority Democrats.

Washington Post: U.S. offers new role for Pakistan
President Obama has offered Pakistan an expanded strategic partnership, including additional military and economic cooperation, while warning with unusual bluntness that its use of insurgent groups to pursue policy goals "cannot continue."

CNN: Report: 'Bin Laden was within our grasp'
President Obama got some political cover Sunday for his upcoming announcement on sending more troops to Afghanistan. A report released by the Democratic staff of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee blamed the Bush administration for failing to capture or kill Osama bin Laden when the al Qaeda leader was cornered in Afghanistan's Tora Bora mountain region in December 2001.

Wall Street Journal: White House, Business Leaders Split on How to Create Jobs
The Obama administration and U.S. business leaders will meet at the White House this week to ponder ways to boost employment. Their ideas, though, don't overlap much. Businesses of all sizes are brimming with proposals they say would spur economic growth. The most commonly voiced are tax cuts and boosting access to credit.

NPR: Climate Change Bill Faces Delays In Senate
In early December, world leaders will gather in Copenhagen to begin talks on a new treaty to curb greenhouse gases and global warming. President Obama will attend the summit….White House officials say the U.S. will propose targets for reducing greenhouse gases in line with what Congress is considering. But while the House narrowly passed a climate change bill last summer, no action by the Senate is expected until next spring.

The Hill: Michigan lawmakers decry South Korea deal auto provisions
President Barack Obama’s call to complete a trade deal with South Korea in 2010 is stirring a hornet’s nest among Michigan lawmakers on Capitol Hill. They worry it will harm the U.S. auto sector and warn it will have to be significantly changed to win support.

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