By Peter Roff, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Angry Republicans on Capitol Hill are charging House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California with putting the interests of international lending organizations ahead of the needs of U.S. troops in the field.
Democrats in the House have put supplemental legislation to support troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on hold as they try to round up the votes they need to put a $108 billion global bailout of the International Monetary Fund onto this piece of "must pass" legislation.
The House passed an initial troop funding bill in May on a 368-0 bipartisan vote.
Capitol Hill Republicans say the only reason for sticking the IMF bailout on the new troop funding bill is that it is the only way to get it through the Congress. Members on both sides of the aisle feel like they got their fingers singed over the last round of bailouts and they are not exactly keen to touch the stove again. They feel a global bailout bill, especially in an environment where U.S. unemployment has reached 9.4 percent and almost 2.2 million jobs have been lost since the current Congress was sworn in, has some members worried about keeping their seats come the next election if they can be tagged as having supported it.
House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia has put together a list of 10 reasons why members of Congress should oppose including the IMF bailout funds in the supplemental and why, in fact, the IMF shouldn't get a bailout at all.
1. The Democrats' proposal risks delaying money to our troops. America's troops should never be used as a vehicle to pass unrelated and controversial legislation.
2. The Democrats' proposal cuts $5 billion from our troops in order to fund the IMF.
3. Under the Democrats' proposal, the U.S. will spend more on a global bailout for foreign countries than on its own soldiers.
4. Because any IMF member country may apply for these loans, Iran, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, and Burma are all eligible. Therefore, "state sponsors of terrorism" can receive American taxpayer money under the Democrats' proposal.
5. The New York Times reported on May 27, that Hezbollah is in talks with the IMF about continuing loans to Lebanon should they win the election. Therefore, a terrorist organization could receive American taxpayer dollars under the Democrats' proposal.
6. In order to loan the IMF $108 billion, the U.S. will have to borrow the money from other countries, like China.
7. A loan of such a size to the IMF will put America further into debt, a cost that will be paid by our children and grandchildren.
8. According to the Center for Economic and Policy Research, American taxpayers will actually lose money by loaning it to the IMF.
9. Countries like China, Russia, Brazil, and India have announced that they will not participate in loans to the IMF. Why would America support loans for the IMF when others are not?
10. And finally, the American taxpayers are sick of bailouts in their own country. How can Democrats rationalize a global bailout?
It's not exactly David Letterman, but it appears to be having an impact.
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