With debate over a war supplemental likely in the coming weeks, the Congressional Progressive Caucus is beginning to plot its strategy on an issue that has divided progressives: President Barack Obama’s plans to send more troops to Afghanistan.
Rep. Lynn Woolsey, co-chairwoman of the CPC, said the group would discuss its approach to Obama’s plans for a troop surge in Afghanistan at its meeting slated for Wednesday night.
The war supplemental, which House leaders want to bring to the floor before the Memorial Day break, would help pay for the troop increase, which the California Democrat and other progressives oppose.
Woolsey said she hoped progressives, who were divided in March over a resolution setting a timetable for Obama to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, could find more unity on the issue ahead of debate on the supplemental.
“We’re bringing that up tomorrow night,” she said Tuesday.
Although she said she hoped Democratic leaders would structure votes on the supplemental so that Members could oppose the war funding but still support aid for disaster relief in earthquake-ravaged Haiti, Woolsey said she was prepared to vote against the war funding regardless — and she believed at least some other progressives would vote with her.
“Even if it has Haiti in it, those of us who want our troops home will vote against the supplemental,” she said. “That will be our statement.”