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GOP Wants Obama to Stand Firm on Afghanistan

With Democrats questioning the feasibility of adding more troops to the fight in Afghanistan, Republicans are issuing a rare defense of the president, using their weekly address Saturday to try to stiffen his resolve to resist his fellow Democrats.“Republicans will support the deployment of additional troops — if requested by our commanders — as well as the resources our troops need to be successful as they attempt to deny safe haven to al Qaeda,— said Sen. John Cornyn of Texas. “Republicans will not waver in our support for our forces in the field — or President Obama — as he fulfills his responsibilities as Commander-in-Chief to protect the American people. On Afghanistan, President Obama has shown the kind of leadership he promised during the campaign — he’s built consensus and earned bipartisan support.—Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Thursday questioned the amount of support in Congress and in the country for sending more troops to Afghanistan. After a brief turn in support for Obama, Cornyn returned to familiar GOP criticism of the president’s health care proposals.“Yet on health care reform, he’s taken a much different approach,— Cornyn said. “He’s paid lip service to bipartisanship while rejecting the ideas that would build bipartisan support. As a result, the President has alienated not only independents and divided his own party, but Republicans as well. And, he’s ignored the clear wishes of the American people.— Cornyn’s critique focused in part on costs. “If you start counting in 2013, the first full year of implementation, the cost of the House bill comes to about $2.4 trillion over 10 years, according to the Senate Budget Committee,— he said.Obama, as he does most weeks, devoted his address exclusively to health care, appealing to those who have insurance with a new Treasury report that shows they have a good chance of losing it under the current system.“Based on a brand-new report from the Treasury Department, we can expect that about half of all Americans under 65 will lose their health coverage at some point over the next ten years,— Obama said. “If you’re under the age of 21 today, chances are more than half that you’ll find yourself uninsured at some point in that time. And more than one-third of Americans will go without coverage for longer than one year.—Obama said his health care plan will prevent such consequences.“I refuse to allow that future to happen,— Obama said. “In the United States of America, no one should have to worry that they’ll go without health insurance — not for one year, not for one month, not for one day. And once I sign my health reform plan into law — they won’t.—

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