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170 Republicans Pledge to Vote ‘No’ on Defense Bill

More than 170 members of the House GOP Conference penned a letter Monday to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) calling for a clean 2010 Defense spending bill and vowing to vote against the measure if it includes an increase in the debt ceiling.

“We object to maneuvers to use our troops as leverage to enact proposals that the Majority either cannot pass on their own or for which they wish to avoid directly voting on and we will oppose a Defense Appropriations package that includes such provisions,— the letter said.

Republicans accused Pelosi and Democratic leaders of repeatedly using legislation that funds the military “to pass other contentious proposals that are extraneous to our troops.—

“Republicans stand ready to help the Majority enact a defense bill that meets the needs of our troops, but we will not assist your effort to use the troops to enact an increase in our national debt limit so as to finance the irresponsible spending policies of your party,— the letter said.

Republican Reps. John Campbell (Calif.), Ron Paul (Texas) and Walter Jones Jr. (N.C.) did not sign on to the letter, but they have previously opposed funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Democrats said last week that Republican opposition to the debt ceiling increase was less about a clean Defense spending bill and more about politics.

“Even though no final decisions have been made, Republicans are already grandstanding with America’s financial solvency and threatening to play politics with our troops,— a House Democratic leadership aide said.

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