Surge Opponent Feingold: Difficult to Stop It, Will Fight Accounting ‘Gimmicks’

By Jennifer Parker

Dec 6, 2009 10:06am

Senator Russ Feingold, a leading liberal opponent of the President’s Afghanistan surge strategy, conceded that the plan will be difficult to stop, but he told me he would fight accounting gimmicks in an attempt to cut-off funding for the troop increase. 

With record deficits, Feingold said there simply isn’t money for expanding U.S. presence in Afghanistan.

Here’s the exchange:

STEPHANOPOULOS:  Is there any way you can stop this?

FEINGOLD:  Well, that’s difficult.  And what’s going to happen here
is that it’s probably going to be difficult to stop it now.  We’ll do
whatever we can.  We’re already working with members of both parties in
both houses to question whether this funding should be approved.  We’re
going to fight any attempts to use sort of accounting gimmicks to allow
it to be funded.  If there’s an attempt to have an emergency
supplemental, I think that’s something we’re going to oppose, not only
on the grounds of it being an unwise policy, but also being fiscally

But in the end, George, what’s going to happen is, if we continue
this policy and build up these troops, there’s going to be more and more
members of Congress who aren’t comfortable with it, and it’s not just
going to be Democrats.

STEPHANOPOULOS:  So you grant that the funds are there right now,
but if they come back in the spring for $30 billion or $40 billion,
that’s where you’ll make your move and try to block it?

FEINGOLD:  I don’t grant that the funds are there now.  We are
operating at huge deficits in this country, and the idea of continuing
to spend for this war goes — flies right in the face of the American
people’s priority to bring spending down.

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