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Boehner Endorses Obama’s Afghan Strategy

Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) endorsed President Barack Obama’s Afghanistan war proposal during a meeting with reporters on Thursday.“I told the president yesterday when we met that I support his plan,— Boehner said. “I had the opportunity yesterday to speak personally with Gen. [Stanley] McChrystal and he assured me that he has what he needs to achieve his mission.—The top House Republican said it was now Congress’ responsibility to ensure that McChrystal gets the resources he needs to execute Obama’s plan, which calls for a deployment of 30,000 more troops.“Success is the only option available to us,— he said.Boehner’s decision to support the president’s strategy ends a week of noncommittal responses from the Minority Leader.Until Thursday, Boehner and other leaders said they would withhold their stamps of approval until concerns about timeline for withdrawing forces were addressed.Asked about the withdrawal date, Boehner said, “I think it became pretty clear during the hearings with the Cabinet secretaries, Adm. [Michael] Mullen and Gen. McChrystal that there is sufficient flexibility to deal with the conditions on the ground.—However, Boehner warned he would not allow Democrats to manipulate GOP support for the troops and said if they attached a provision to the Defense appropriations bill to increase the debt ceiling, Republicans would vote against it.“I think it is acceptable to oppose an increase in the debt ceiling and you’ll see Republicans vote against it,— Boehner said. “Listen, they have made a habit of taking the Defense appropriation bills, bills that fund the support of our troops, and adding on there the most distasteful things they can think of, trying to make sure they get them passed on the backs of our soldiers. It’s a bad way of doing business.—

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