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Eye on Congress
Senate Dems Rallying for Appropriations Showd
Gates, Rices, Pace Scheduled to Appear This Afternoon
02/27/2007 12:38 PM ET
This week's Senate committee hearings promise to be a lot more incendiary than the usual ho-hum Hill gatherings. Starting at 2:30 p.m today, the Senate Appropriations Committee will convene to consider the Bush administration's latest proposal for a $100 billion supplemental spending bill to fund the ongoing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Appropriations chairman Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), a long standing Congressional opponent of the Iraq war, will be flanked by several leading anti-war Democrats such as Senators Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.) and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa).

Appearing to testify on behalf of the president's latest extraordinary funding request, and to answer some pointed questions, will be Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff.

The most hotly debated topic is sure to be the president's decision to send an additional 21,500 troops into Iraq as part of the much vaunted "surge plan". The questions fielded won't be new: namely, what's the plan; how long are we going to be there; and how much is this going to cost?

Watch it live on the Senate Appropriations Committee website.

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