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Rep. McGovern Advocates Delaying Afghan War Funding

Massachusetts Rep. Jim McGovern and other colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging her to delay funding for the conflict in Afghanistan until questions about the war's direction have been answered.

"We're going to have 100,000 American forces there by the end of the month; how many more troops are we going to be asked to fund?" McGovern asked in an interview with Here & Now's Robin Young.

"When it comes to American workers, we have to be tight-fisted with the budget, but when it comes to funding a corrupt regime led by President Karzai, we're a bottomless pit."

Rep. Jim McGovern

As Senate Republicans filibuster a bill that extends unemployment benefits because of concerns about deficit spending, Congress is also being asked to fully fund the war in Afghanistan, the Massachusetts Democrat pointed out. In the midst of an economic recession, funding the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq often comes at the expense of funding domestic programs, McGovern said.

"When it comes to American workers, we have to be tight-fisted with the budget," McGovern said, "but when it comes to funding a corrupt (Afghan) regime led by President Karzai, we're a bottomless pit. So where are all these fiscal conservatives and deficit hawks who say we need to pay for everything? Well let's pay for these wars. We're not."

McGovern, along with a number of other House members, have advocated taking a harsh look at the military's plan for Afghanistan.

"What we have suggested is that everything be held off until we can have a full and thorough debate, until the questions about this war can be answered," McGovern said. "And I'm, quite frankly, concerned that we're engaged in a war that has no end."

This program aired on June 29, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

Jeremy Bernfeld Producer
Jeremy Bernfeld was formerly a producer for WBUR.

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