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Security Politics

"House Democratic leaders will add nearly $4 billion for farmers to a bill funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to attract conservative Democrats concerned that the measure would wrongly constrict President Bush's power as commander in chief," says The Hill.  "Republican House leaders anticipated such sweeteners" and warned their ranks not to fall for it. 

Sen. Charles Grassley (R) of Iowa is facing some tough opposition from his constituents over the Iraq war.  Anti-war activists are "confronting him at town meetings and staging an 'occupation' at his Iowa offices earlier this week" reports the Des Moines Register.  "But Grassley said Wednesday that he remains committed to approving money for a troop buildup in Iraq, based on the opinions of military commanders that an increase in forces can quell ongoing violence in the region." 

"Rep. John Murtha is rankling some of his fellow Democrats who worry his outspokenness sometimes upstages even Speaker Nancy Pelosi," The Politico says.  "Some political observers say that Murtha's style hearkens back to another political era -- one in which lawmakers spent less time framing their actions for the press, and individual members, especially committee chairmen, enjoyed more autonomy.  Members did not rely so much on press secretaries nor did they formulate elaborate messaging plans."