KFKA's Oliver let Allard mischaracterize Democratic Iraq spending bill
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On her April 25 broadcast, 1310 KFKA host Amy Oliver left unchallenged U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard's (R-CO) mischaracterization of a Democratic-backed Iraq spending bill and his baseless assertion that Democrats were trying to "delay" funding for the troops. Allard also misleadingly suggested that the Pentagon "is running out of money" for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
During the April 25 broadcast of her 1310 KFKA show, Amy Oliver -- who also is director of operations for the conservative Independence Institute -- allowed U.S. Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) to mischaracterize a Democratic-sponsored Iraq spending bill that President Bush has promised to veto. Allard baselessly accused Democrats of "delay[ing]" funding for the troops and "unnecessarily putting at risk the lives of our men and women in the armed forces." However, as Colorado Media Matters has noted, Congress took considerably longer to act on Bush's funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in 2006 when the Republican Party was in control. Furthermore, in suggesting that the "Pentagon is ... beginning to run out of money" for the conflicts, Allard ignored a report that concluded the military can fund troops into July.
From the April 25 broadcast of 1310 KFKA's The Amy Oliver Show:
ALLARD: It's the hope of at least the Republicans in the Senate we can quickly get this bill to the president so he can veto it, so we can quickly get together a clean supplemental bill that will deal with not anything but just the funding of the conflict in Iraq; get the money to the, our men and women in the field there. The Pentagon is -- it told us on the 15th of April they're beginning to run out of money, and that if we need to get moving and, and hopefully we can get another supplemental bill passed and to the president where he can sign. And not continue to delay this, the funding that they need. And obviously the Democrats think they can -- they can delay it and delay it and force a retreat with their delay. But I think it's the wrong strategy, and I think the American people will be furious because they will see us unnecessarily putting at risk the lives of our men and women in the armed forces.
In criticizing Democrats for the funding "delay," Allard failed to mention that while he was a member of the Republican-controlled Congress in 2006, appropriations for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were not approved until late spring. In contrast with the 80 days it has taken the Democratic-controlled Congress to approve the Iraq spending bill Bush requested, it took 119 days in 2006 for the Republican-led Congress to pass and Bush to sign the supplemental spending measure for both wars, as the weblog ThinkProgress.org noted.
Moreover, Allard ignored a March 28 Congressional Research Service report that concluded the Army would be able to fund its operations in Iraq "through most of July 2007" with the money it has now, as Colorado Media Matters has noted (here and here). CNN reported on April 10 that "the bipartisan Congressional Research Service has concluded that the military will have the money to continue fighting through July without additional funding."
Colorado Media Matters also noted that the U.S. Senate on March 29 passed a spending bill that provides funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and also mandates that U.S. troops begin redeploying from Iraq within 120 days of the bill's passage, with a nonbinding goal of ending combat operations there by March 31, 2008. Allard voted against the bill, while U.S. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) voted in favor of it. The U.S. House of Representatives passed an emergency supplemental spending bill on March 23.
The House approved the reconciled bill April 25. As The New York Times reported on April 26, "The Senate narrowly passed a $124 billion war spending bill early this afternoon after an emotional debate about the best way forward in Iraq. The vote will send the measure to President Bush, who has vowed to veto it because it would require American troops to begin withdrawing by Oct. 1."