- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The White House meeting Tuesday afternoon to discuss Afghanistan and Pakistan with congressional leaders will include 15 Republicans.

Over the past few weeks, the war in Afghanistan has challenged health-care reform as the biggest issue now facing Mr. Obama and the Democrat-controlled Congress.

Among the key issues likely to be discussed Tuesday is whether more troops are needed and how should the United States divide its resources in the neighboring countries of Afghanistan and Pakistan to fight the insurgent Taliban and the al Qaeda terrorist network.

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the leader of NATO forces in Afghanistan, wants as many as 40,000 additional troops, after Mr. Obama added 21,000 earlier this year.

Among those attending the closed meeting in the State Dining Room is Sen. John McCain, Arizona Republican and ranking minority member of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

He is among Republicans who support more troops, essentially for counterinsurgent efforts and protection of the roughly 68,0000 U.S. troops now in Afghanistan.

The list of attendees is:

Senators
Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat
Majority Whip Richard J. Durbin, Illinois Democrat
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican
Minority Whip Jon Kyl, Arizona Republican
Armed Services Chairman Carl Levin, Michigan Democrat
Armed Services ranking minority member John McCain, Arizona Republican
Appropriations Chairman Daniel K. Inouye, Hawaii Democrat
Appropriations ranking member Thad Cochran, Mississippi Republican
Foreign Affairs Chairman John Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat
Foreign Affairs ranking minority member Richard G. Lugar, Indiana Republican
Foreign Operations Appropriations Chairman Patrick J. Leahy, Vermont Democrat
Foreign Operations Appropriations ranking minority member Judd Gregg, New Hampshire Republican
Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, California Democrat
Intelligence Committee ranking minority member Christopher S. Bond, Missouri Republican

Representatives
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat
Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, Maryland Democrat
Minority Leader John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican
Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, South Carolina Democrat
Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican
Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, Missouri Democrat
Armed Services ranking minority member Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican
Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard L. Berman, California Democrat
Foreign Affairs ranking minority member Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Florida Republican
Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey, Wisconsin Democrat
Appropriations ranking minority member Jerry Lewis, California Republican
Foreign Operations Appropriations Chairman Nita M. Lowey, New York Democrat
Foreign Operations Appropriations ranking minority member Kay Granger, Texas Republican
Defense Subcommittee Chairman John P. Murtha, Pennsylvania Democrat
Defense Subcommittee ranking minority member C.W. Bill Young, Florida Republican
Intelligence Committee Chairman Silvestre Reyes, Texas Democrat
Intelligence Committee ranking minority member Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican

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