Byrd’s Iraq Hearing Descends into Chaos

W.Va. Senator Not Saying Whether He’d Cut Off War Funds 

By Scott Finn 

Senator Robert Byrd has been a leading critic of the war in Iraq from the very beginning. And when Democrats retook Congress earlier this year, Byrd regained his chairmanship of the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. 

Those two roles came together Monday in a speech Byrd gave on the Senate floor. Without going into specifics, he threatened to use the power of the purse to force the President to change course in Iraq. 

Then on Wednesday, Byrd chaired a meeting of the Senate Appropriations Committee about the President’s upcoming request for more war funding. But the meeting descended into chaos. Byrd threw rowdy war protestors out of the room, and two Senators had a heated exchange over gays in the military.

C-Span carried it live, the Washington Post wrote about it, and the Associated Press distributed video of it throughout the world. After all the fireworks, we’re still don’t know whether Byrd plans to use the power of the purse to force an end to the war.

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