Friday, July 27, 2007

Congress Succeeds Where Putin Failed

The US Congress is expected to refuse funding needed by George w. Bush to establish an interceptor missile battery in Poland. From The Guardian:

The House appropriations committee cut $139m (£69.5m) from the $310m the Bush administration wants for preparatory work on the missile project in Europe. It approved funds for a radar system in the Czech Republic but cut the $139m Mr Bush requested to establish a missile interception system in Poland, the most controversial part of the defence system.

John Murtha, chairman of the committee, said the Bush administration has "got to convince us this is worthwhile".

As well as reducing the budget, Congress is shifting priorities from futuristic programmes to more immediate concerns, such as improved healthcare for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, pay rises for soldiers and marines, and much-needed weaponry for Iraq, such as the heavily-armoured Stryker vehicles.

The committee's pared-down budget will go to the full House for a vote next week but is almost certain to be passed.
The House and Senate have questioned whether establishing the system in eastern Europe is sensible given the extent of the opposition it has aroused in Russia. They also question its technical feasibility and the failure of other Nato countries to commit fully to it.

Are we beginning to watch the unravelling of the Imperial Presidency? If Congress chokes the beast into unconsciousness over the missile defence scheme, what's next? Has the day of the rightwing nutbar finally come to an end?

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