Thursday, May 03, 2007


Guest blogging: Matthew Robinson

I have been highly critical of Rep. Foxx for her votes in Congress and for not responding to my open letters published in the local press and sent to her office. Recently, I did receive a response directly from her, and I wanted to publicly thank her for answering.

In my letters (see them here: and to Rep. Foxx, I asked for an explanation for why she keeps voting for funding for the Iraq war, even though it is not accountable to the American people (especially after voting against spending for Hurricane Katrina reconstruction). I quoted from the Iraq Study Group Report which read: "The public interest is not well served by the government's preparation, presentation, and review of the budget for the war in Iraq .… most of the costs of the war show up not in the normal budget request but in requests for emergency supplemental appropriations. This means that funding requests are drawn up outside the normal budget process, are not offset by budgetary reductions elsewhere, and move quickly to the White House with minimal scrutiny. Bypassing the normal review erodes budget discipline and accountability."

And I quoted from David Walker, head of the auditing arm of Congress, who said: "There is no accountability. Organizations charged with overseeing contracts are not held accountable. Contractors are not held accountable. The individuals responsible are not held accountable."

Rep. Foxx responded to my concerns with this (taken directly from her letter to me): "We are in agreement that there should be accountability for all spending by our government, including the military. The number one role of the federal government is the defense of this nation. However, there are differences in the funding for our military and the Hurricane Katrina funding. There are plans for the military funding and there was no plan for the Katrina funding. I have never stated that every dollar spent by the Department of Defense or other department is spent as wisely as it can be spent. However, while I would like to see better accountability, I cannot vote against funding for the volunteers who are fighting every day to allow you and me to live in freedom in this country. One of my main reasons for running for Congress was to use my time and talents to reduce federal spending in all areas. I will continue those efforts as opportunities arise."

In fairness to Rep. Foxx, I wanted others to know that she has responded to my letters. At the same time, I would like to reiterate that I disagree with her stance on Iraq. Her claim that our military is "fighting every day to allow you and me to live in freedom in this country" is simply inaccurate.

They are fighting in a country that never attacked us, never threatened our freedom, and was led by a dictator long supported by the United States. Two major Bush insiders -- Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice -- both stated publicly in 2001 that Saddam Hussein was contained by UN sanctions and was not a threat to us or even to his neighbors.

Our presence in Iraq has inflamed hatred for the US, increased worldwide terrorism, and thus endangers our freedom rather than protecting it. Experts expect the Iraq war to create new terrorist attacks against the United States in the form of "blowback."

If Rep. Foxx wants to use her "time and talents to reduce federal spending in all areas," a place to start is Iraq. Bring our troops home, and we'll save hundreds of billions of dollars and not lose another precious life. That sounds like what a conservative would want.

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