On Friday, I asked for your recommendations on what I should ask Nancy Pelosi during my interview with her. The response was overwhelming. And the overriding theme of the reaction was, "Ask Speaker Pelosi to please, please, stop funding the war."
And over the course of preparing for the interview, the question of why Congress has been reluctant to use its constitutionally mandated power of the purse to cut off funding for the war kept rising to the surface. Specifically the question of why the Democrats are allowing the president to continue to fund the war through so-called emergency appropriations instead of forcing him to make his latest request for an additional $190 billion in war funds part of the budget -- and part of a budget debate that would allow the American people to hear how much of the money being requested is actually going to the troops and how much is going to build the largest embassy in the world, to build military bases, and to pay the salaries of Blackwater thugs.
Pelosi has scored a number of legislative accomplishments during her first nine months as Speaker, including an increase in the minimum wage, ethics reform, an overhaul of student-aid programs, implementation of the 9/11 Commission recommendations, and a bill upping the criminal punishment of war profiteers -- yet the approval ratings for Congress hover around 20 percent, below even President Bush's. And the dissatisfaction stems primarily from the failure of Democrats to bring an end to the war. This is a telling indication of the priorities of the American people.
So I made this the focus of the interview, although we also talked about FISA, Blackwater, why only military families have been asked to sacrifice for this war, and whether she's getting enough sleep.
Below are four highlights from our conversation, followed by the full interview.
"Are You Too Well-Behaved to Get Us Out of Iraq?":
On Ending the War in Iraq:
Quick Hits on President Bush, Hillary Clinton, and The American Dream:
On the Coming Fight over FISA:
Arianna Interviews Nancy Pelosi:
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