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November 18, 2005 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2005-11-18

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2 - The Michigan Daily - Friday, November 18, 2005

NATION/WORLD

Top Dem wants troops out of Iraq NEws INrBRIEF

~ .

WASHINGTON (AP) - One of
SCongress's most hawkish Democrats
Scalled yesterday for an immediate U.S.
y..s.....{u'... withdrawal from Iraq. sparking bitter
and personal salvos from both sides in a
, } -A.Kgrowing Capitol Hill uproar over Presi-
dent Bush's war policies.
"It's time to bring them home," said
Rep. John Murtha, a decorated Korean
z War and Vietnam combat veteran, chok-
ing back tears during remarks to report-
ers. "Our military has accomplished its
t mission and done its duty."
The comments by the Pennsylvania
lawmaker, who has spent three decades in
the House, hold particular weight because
he is close to many military commanders
x and has enormous credibility with his col-
x leagues on defense issues. He voted for the
war in 2002, and remains the top Demo-
crat on the House Appropriations defense
subcommittee.
"Our troops have become the primary
xx target of the insurgency. They are united
against U.S. forces and we have become
k {Ea catalyst for violence," he said.
In a biting response, Republicans crit-
icized Murtha's position as one of aban-
donment and surrender and accused
Democrats of playing politics with the
war and recklessly pushing a "cut and
run" strategy.
"They want us to retreat. They want
us to wave the white flag of surrender to
the terrorists of the world," said House
Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.).
"It would be an absolute mistake and
AP PHOTO a real insult to the lives that have been
Rep. John Murtha (D-Pa.) gestures during a Capitol Hill news conference lost," said Rep. David Dreier (R-Calif.).
yesterday to discuss the Iraq War. Murtha, an Influential Democrat who Just two days earlier, the GOP-con-
voted for the Iraq war, called for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops. trolled Senate defeated a Democratic push

to force Bush to lay out a timetable for
withdrawal. Spotlighting mushrooming
questions from both parties about the war,
though, the chamber approved a statement
that 2006 should be a significant year
in which conditions are created for the
phased withdrawal of U.S. forces.
Murtha estimated that all U.S. troops
could be pulled out within six months.
He introduced a resolution yesterday that
would force the president to call back the
military, but it was unclear when, or if,
either GOP-run chamber of Congress
would vote on it.
House Minority Leader Nancy
Pelosi (D-Calif.) stopped short of
endorsing Murtha's position, even
though he's one of her close advisers.
Her counterpart in the Senate, Sen.
Harry Reid of Nevada, said, "I favor
what the Senate did," referring to the
statement the Senate adopted.
Yesterday's rhetorical dueling came
in a week that had already seen Bush
and other top administration officials
lash out at war critics, who they say
advocate a strategy that will only
embolden the insurgency.
Some Senate Democrats have
already laid out plans for bringing
home U.S. troops. Other House Dem-
ocrats have called for the military to
pull out, but none has Murtha's clout
on military issues.
Seldom overtly political, Murtha
uncharacteristically responded to Vice
President Dick Cheney's comments this
week that Democrats were spouting "one
of the most dishonest and reprehensible
charges" about the Bush administration's
use of intelligence before the war.

WASHINGTON
Republicans defeated on spending bill
Republicans suffered a startling setback in the House yesterday, losing a vote on
cutting spending for education and health care programs. A broader budget-cutting
blueprint targeting the poor, college students and farmers also was in danger.
Both bills are part of a campaign by Republican leaders to burnish their party's
budget-cutting credentials as they try to reduce a deficit swelled by spending on the
Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina. In both cases, GOP moderates balked.
The 224-209 vote against a $602 billion spending bill for health, education and
labor programs disrupted plans by the Republican leaders to finish work on 11
spending bills that would pay for government operations and freeze many agency
budgets through next September.
Democrats weresunanimous in opposing that one-year appropriations bill. "It
betrays our nation's values and its future," said House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer
(D-Md.). "It is neither compassionate, conservative nor wise.f
CAIRO
Egypt ruling party takes 70 percent
Egypt's ruling party won 112 seats in the first stage of the country's parliamen-
tary elections, or about 70 percent of those available, according to final results
announced yesterday.
Announcing the results, Justice Minister Mahmoud Abu el-Leil also confirmed
that the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Egypt's most powerful Islamic fundamen-
talist group, more than doubled its presence in parliament, winning 34 seats.
The ruling National Democratic Party acquired 112 seats out of the 164 contested
seats in the first round, which entailed an initial vote Nov. 9 then a run-off Tuesday.
Independents got 13 seats and three opposition parties won five seats - two each to the
centrist Wafd and leftist Tagammu parties and one to the centrist Ghad party.
The second round is to be held Sunday, followed by a final one Dec. 1, to determine
the remainder of the 454-member parliament. Each stage is held in a different area.
BUSAN, South Korea
Bush, Putin make nice over terrorism
Though their political relationship is strained, President Bush and Russian Presi-
dent Vladimir Putin are trying to speak with one voice about the war on terrorisfn
and the campaign to stop North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
The two leaders were meeting today, apparently still at odds over how to address
Iran's nuclear programs and with long-running differences over the U.S.-led inva-
sion of Iraq and U.S. concern that Russia is retreating from democracy.
Far from home, Bush was on the defensive about Democrats' criticism that he
had misled the nation about the need to go to war in Iraq.
He said at a news conference yesterday that it was "patriotic as heck to disagree with
the president." But he added, "What bothers me is when people are irresponsibly using
their positions and playing politics. That's exactly what is taking place in America."
Today's meeting was the fifth between Bush and Putin this year, following talks
in Moscow; Washington; Bratislava, Slovakia, and Gleneagles, Scotland. Despite
their disputes, they're on a first-name basis and emphasize their friendship.
WASHINGTON
Democrats lose on oil company tax bill
Senate Republicans beat back Democratic attempts yesterday to use a $60
billion tax bill to pinch oil and energy companies that have been reporting
record profits while consumers pay high gasoline prices.
The bill, which would prevent a number of individual and business tax
breaks from expiring, already levies almost $5 billion in taxes on major oil
companies.
The energy amendments faced opposition from the Republican majority and
stood little chance of success, but they reflected attentiveness on Capitol Hill to
high gasoline prices and fears of skyrocketing home heating costs this winter.

B

a0

Lgislators
squabble
over Patriot
Act renewal
WASHINGTON (AP) - A tentative agreement to
renew the Patriot Act this week teetered late Wednes-
day without explicit support of the lead Senate
negotiator, as Democrats complained that the draft
wouldn't sufficiently curb the FBI's power to probe
the most private aspects of people's lives.
Hours after House and Senate negotiators said they
had reached a tentative pre-dawn agreement, Demo-
crats and civil libertarians complained that it didn't
address their chief concern: the curbing of FBI power
to gather certain information by requiring the inves-
tigators to prove the subject's.records are connected
to a foreign agent or government.
"It gives a nod toward checks and balances without fix-
ing the most fundamental flaws in the Patriot Act," said
Lisa Graves of the Americans Civil Liberties Union.
At least four Democratic senators announced
their displeasure with the proposal, joined by Rep.
John Conyers of Michigan, ranking Democrat on the
House Judiciary Committee.
Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen
Specter (R-Pa.) had hoped to reach an agreement that
his counterpart, ranking Democrat Pat Leahy of Ver-
mont, could support. But by dinnertime, Specter had
scheduled - then canceled - a news conference on
the Patriot Act. His office said only that negotiations
were continuing.
The agreement, which would make most provi-
sions of the existing law permanent, was reached
just before dawn Wednesday. But by midmorning
GOP leaders had already made plans for a House
vote yesterday and a Senate vote by the end of the
week. That would put the centerpiece of President
Bush's war on terror on his desk before Thanksgiv-
ing, a month before more than a dozen provisions
were set to expire.

0

- Compiled from Daily wire reports

CORRECTIONS
* A story in the Nov. 3 edition of the Daily (Higher ed funding debat-
ed) incorrectly spelled the name of a University regent. She is Katherine
White.
Please report any error in the Daily to corrections@michigandaily.com.
atbe £icbiuCS Cd
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UAC and MUSKET present

20

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