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Who decides when the war should end?

US Capitol Building

TEXT OF STORY

BOB MOON: It was a weekend of war protests in cities around the country. And this week, Senate Democrats hope to start debate on a non-binding measure opposing President Bush's planned troop increase in Iraq. Tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee holds a hearing on whether Congress has the constitutional authority to cut off funding for the war. Nancy Marshall Genzer reports.


NANCY MARSHALL GENZER: Wisconsin Democrat Russ Feingold set the stage for tomorrow's hearing last week.
RUSS FEINGOLD: The latest taboo is that we can't talk about using the power of the purse, that somehow we're going to endanger the troops.

Feingold says it's possible to safely draw down troops. But Steve Kosiak of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessment says it's too late to be playing with the power of the purse.

STEVE KOSIAK: It's not a choice of between sending the troops or not sending the troops. It's between providing funding for the troops that are already there or not supporting the troops.

But Lawrence Korb of the Center for American Progress says Congress has other options.

LAWRENCE KORB: What they would say is that after a date certain you can't have more than so many troops in Iraq unless you get permission from us to raise the cap.

Korb says nuanced measures like that are popular because many lawmakers fear even the appearance of not supporting the troops is political suicide.

In Washington, I'm Nancy Marshall Genzer for Marketplace.

About the author

Nancy Marshall-Genzer is a senior reporter for Marketplace based in Washington, D.C. covering daily news.
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