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Interview of the Vice President
Date:12/6/2007

t, and we ought to be able to pass an emergency supplemental, as we've done in years past, to make certain that the troops have got what they need in the field, the department can run efficiently, that the investments that are required to sustain the effort that I think obviously is bearing fruit in Iraq needs to go forward.

I'm puzzled why they are so wedded to their political view that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid aren't going to move that legislation -- said, absolutely not, there won't be another vote on this matter in this Congress. I think that's a big mistake.

I'm also somewhat surprised -- I look at the House -- there are members of the House I worked closely with over the years when I was Secretary of Defense who would ordinarily have been staunch advocates for this kind of legislation, who no longer are staunch advocates -- and I'm referring to my friend, Jack Murtha -- I think of all of them as friends of mine -- but Jack and other senior leaders who now all march to the tune of Nancy Pelosi, to an extent I had not seen, frankly, with any previous Speaker. And I'm surprised by that. I think of John Dingell and the energy business. This is a hot item right now. But I don't see John Dingell driving that train. It looks to me like Nancy Pelosi is driving that train. And that is -- well, it's surprising when I think of the -- I'm trying to think how to say all of this in a gentlemanly fashion -- but the Congress I served in, that wouldn't have happened. We would not have had a Speaker who, from my perspective, is that far out of the sort of mainstream -- she is a San Francisco Democrat, certainly entitled to her views, but able to dictate policy as effectively as she apparently does to the rest of the caucus.

Q Well, did any of those guys lose their spine? Is that what you're saying?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I was being very diplomatic in the way I phrased it. (Laughter.) They're not carrying the big stick I would have expected with the
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SOURCE White House Press Office
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