Democrats: No 'blank check' for Iraq war

WASHINGTON, Jan. 7 (UPI) -- Top Democrats in the U.S. House agreed Sunday President Bush will not get a "blank check" when it comes to funding for the Iraq war.

Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Rep. Charlie Rangel of New York, chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, and Rep. Henry Waxman of California, chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, appeared on ABC News' "This Week with George Stephanopoulos."


Bush is expected to ask for at least another $100 billion to fund the war, including $1 billion for an Iraqi jobs program. Obey signaled that the funding process may be used to debate policy.

"I think the Congress will provide everything that the troops need," Obey said. " ... But there is certainly going to be no blank checks. I think we're going to scrub his request and at the same time use it as a chance to really discuss whether or not the policy behind that request makes any sense or not."

Waxman said his committee would investigate "to make sure that taxpayers' funds are not being wasted, that there's no fraud and abuse. These are the taxpayers' dollars. And what we've seen so far in Iraq, according to the government's own auditors, is billions of dollars that have gone to waste, and corruption and graft."


Rangel said the new Congress would take a look at all tax exemptions, and did not rule out looking at the status of the NCAA.

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