The Republican portion of Georgia’s congressional delegation on Tuesday showed a significant fracture when it comes to funding the two wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The House of Representatives agreed on Tuesday to provide $59 billion to continue financing America’s two wars, but the vote showed deepening divisions and anxiety among Democrats over the course of the nearly nine-year-old conflict in Afghanistan.
The 308-to-114 vote, with strong Republican support, came after the leak of an archive of classified battlefield reports from Afghanistan that fueled new debate over the course of the war and whether President Obama’s counterinsurgency strategy could work.
Voting for the measure were Georgia Democrats John Barrow of Savannah, Sanford Bishop of Albany, Jim Marshall of Macon, and David Scott of Atlanta; Republicans Tom Graves of Ranger, Jack Kingston of Savannah, Tom Price of Roswell, and Lynn Westmoreland of Sharpsburg.
Voting against the Iraq/Afghanistan funding were Republicans Paul Broun of Athens, Phil Gingrey of Marietta, and John Linder of Duluth; who joined Democrats Hank Johnson and John Lewis.
Look for explanations from the three no-voting Republicans to hit first thing this morning – though Linder is not standing for re-election.
According to Jamie Dupree up in Washington, the war funding bill included some domestic spending:
* $950 million Agricultural Credit Insurance Fund Program
* $18 million Emergency Forest Restoration Program
* $150 million in Haiti quake relief
* $49 million in economic development for states hit by severe storms between March and May of 2010, which have more than 20 counties declared as disaster areas
* $5 million for NOAA to deal with “commercial fishery failures”
* $94 million for Drug Interdiction
* $10 million for emergency drought relief
* $5.1 billion for FEMA disaster relief…
But one wonders if the issue of spending may be secondary to President Barack Obama’s handling of the war in Afghanistan, which is coming under increasingly public criticism from influential Republicans.
Earlier this month, while in Iowa, former House speaker Newt Gingrich – whom Linder once served as a top lieutenant – expressed pessimism about the U.S. military’s position in Afghanistan.
The war “is not going well,” said the former Georgia congressman, a potential 2012 candidate for president. From the Des Moines Register:
“I think we are in enormous danger because we consistently underestimate how hard this is,” Gingrich said. Petraeus’ “counter-insurgency doctrine doesn’t go deep enough for some place like Afghanistan. You’re dealing with Afghan culture that is fundamentally different than us, in ways we don’t understand.”
Gingrich is expected to elaborate on the topic Thursday in a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.
No doubt you’ve seen this from my AJC colleagues Aaron Gould Sheinin and James Salzer:
A federal grand jury subpoenaed records and testimony from a top state official last month involving gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal and a business arrangement he had with the state for nearly 20 years.
Georgia Revenue Commissioner Bart Graham was subpoenaed to appear before the grand jury in June, according to documents obtained Tuesday by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution through the Georgia Open Records Act.
Deal’s attorney, Randy Evans, said Tuesday evening that his client has not been subpoenaed and is not the subject of an investigation.
Click here to review the five pages of documents the article is based on.
ATLaw, a legal community blog sponsored by the Fulton County Daily Report, has decoded some endorsements gathered up since the runoff by Sam Olens of Cobb County, who faces Preston Smith of Rome in a Republican runoff for attorney general:
Although Max Wood, former U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, declined to endorse either Olens or Wood, that didn’t stop a lawyer who had been one of Wood’s biggest supporters from endorsing Olens—Macon appellate attorney Steve Dillard.
Also joining the Olens bandwagon are Macon attorney Frank C. Jones, who represented Gov. Sonny Perdue in his constitutional battle with Attorney General Thurbert E. Baker and is Perdue’s lead attorney challenging President Obama’s healthcare reform law; and Keith Blackwell, past president of the Atlanta chapter of the Federalist Society.
Another new addition to Olens’ endorsement brigade is Republican state Sen. Seth Harp, a family-law attorney from Midland. Harp is the senator who took Smith’s place as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee at the end of this year’s legislative session, after Smith was booted from the post in retaliation for his voting against a hospital-bed tax.
Harp waged an unsuccessful campaign this year for state insurance commissioner.
Public Policy Polling of North Carolina is doing some groundwork in New Hampshire that helps explain the impact of Sarah Palin who, despite her rejection as presidential material, is changing the shape of elections in several states – including Georgia.
PPP says that Mitt Romney, a former Massachusetts governor, “continues to look like an overwhelming favorite for the 2012 New Hampshire primary.” Palin runs a distant fourth, behind Mike Huckabee.
Among voters who are more likely to support a candidate endorsed by Sarah Palin…Romney leads…with 29% to Palin’s 21%. We’ve written repeatedly about how our 2012 polling shows a disconnect between people liking Palin and being willing to support her for President and this is a great example of it.