- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A group of 10 Republicans this afternoon spoke on the House floor against President’s Bush’s plan to send more U.S. troops to Iraq.

“When you find out you are going down the wrong way on the interstate, you do not keep going. You get off at the next exit,” said Rep. John J. Duncan Jr., Tennessee Republican.

Rep. Walter Jones, North Carolina Republican, was the de facto leader of the 10 Republicans.

Mr. Jones, whose district includes the Marine base Camp LeJeune, originally supported the war in Iraq, but is now supporting a Democratic-led resolution that disapproves of the President’s plan to send 21,500 more troops to Iraq.

The resolution is non-binding but is considered a first step towards restricting use of war funds or cutting them off altogether.

“I am not persuaded that another surge will work,” Mr. Jones said.

The other Republicans who spoke were Rep. Howard Coble, North Carolina, Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, Maryland, Rep. Michael Castle, Delaware, Rep. Jim Ramstad, Minnesota, Rep. Ric Keller, Florida, Rep. Philip S. English, Pennsylvania, Rep. Ron E. Paul, Texas, Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, Ohio, and Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan.

Mr. Jones said he expects about 30 Republicans to vote in favor of the resolution.

Rep. Jim Marshall, Georgia Democrat, was one of the few Democrats to speak in opposition of the resolution, saying it might discourage U.S. soldiers.

Minority Leader John Boehner, Ohio Republican, told reporters yesterday that neither he nor the White House is seeking to dissuade Republicans who want to support the Democrat-sponsored resolution against the surge.

Mr. Boehner said there are no “bigger conscience issues than this.”

Mr. Paul, Texas Republican, protested what he said was unfair rhetoric against those who oppose the surge.

“The biggest red herring in this debate is the innuendo that those who don’t support expanding the war somehow don’t support the troops,” Mr. Paul said.

Mr. Paul said that Iraq is not part of the U.S. war against terrorism, and said in fact that there is no war against terrorism.

“Terrorism is a tactic,” Mr. Paul said. “You can’t have a war against a tactic.”

Mr. LaTourette, Ohio Republican, said that the president’s plan to send more troops “is not a fresh approach but is more of the same.”

“This surge is not in the best interest of our nation,” Mr. La Tourette said.

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