I got this email from Kathy Castor's office.
U.S. Representative Kathy Castor was named today by Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House leaders to serve on the U.S. House of Representatives Armed Services Committee. "The Armed Services Committee is vital to the safety and security of our country and my community", said Castor.
"I will fight to protect MacDill Air Force Base, which is home to U.S. Central Command, U.S. Special Operations Command, and the 6th Air Mobility Wing", continued Castor.
This week the Armed Services Committee will begin Iraq oversight hearings featuring Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Peter Pace.
"I will ask the tough questions on the war in Iraq," stated Castor.
News reports say that President Bush is considering escalating the war in Iraq. "Escalation of the war in Iraq is out of step with the American people, out of step with my neighbors in Hillsborough, Manatee and Pinellas counties and out of step with the Generals on the ground," observed Castor.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi has said that in the past the Bush Administration has been given a blank check on Iraq. "As a result, the Speaker has stated that any escalation in Iraq will have to bear the toughest scrutiny and serving on the Armed Services committee will allow me to play an active role in that tough scrutiny", Castor said.
"Our number one challenge today is ensuring that American troops and their families are being supported. We must be "ready" as a nation to confront challenges to our national security. Under the new Congress and through my service on the Armed Services Committee, troops and veterans will be ensured of health care and the equipment they need," concluded Castor. "Oversight of waste and fraud will also be my focus as a member of the Armed Services Committee".
The powerful House Armed Services Committee, the largest authorizing committee in Congress, is responsible for the nation's entire $393 billion defense budget. It has jurisdiction over military installations and facilities in this country and abroad, personnel, procurement, military research and development and readiness issues. The committee also has special oversight responsibilities over international arms control and disarmament and the education of military dependents.
Congresswoman Kathy Castor represents the 11th Congressional District of Florida. She has already been appointed to the powerful Rules Committee and Steering and Policy Committee, where she is already working hard to bring needed changes for her neighbors in Tampa Bay.
The question I emailed back to Castor's office is will the Congresswoman support or urge a withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Maintaining checks against the executive branch is fine. That is something that should have been done a long time ago. Will Castor try to put an end to Bush's mad war? That is the question her constituents will want to know.
Polls I have seen show little support of an increase of U.S. troops. We also don't have the troops to spare. Politically and in the name of sanity, opposing Bush on the troop surge is the right thing for the Democrats to do. I don't believe that Democrats would be hurt by asking for a withdrawal. Nancy Pelosi has backed away from doing so. She should do so. The public is losing it's patience with this war. Let Bush and the Fox News dittoheads cry about how Democrats are weak on national security while they defend staying the course and why Osama bin Laden is still at large.