Constituents: Anti-war congressmen had tough choice on
5/25/2007, 7:38 p.m. ET
By KATHY MATHESON
The Associated Press
MEDIA, Pa. (AP) — Rep. Joe Sestak was stuck between
A day after the Democrat voted to approve funding the conflict through September, constituents in his suburban Philadelphia district said they understood his action — even though Sestak was elected in part on the strength of his anti-war platform.
"I'm glad they funded it. These people are soldiers. They need support," Leigh Bechtle, 57, of Media, said Friday. "It wasn't going to pass with a timetable and you can't have them not funded."
Two other Democratic war opponents from
The $120 billion bill approved Thursday by the House 280-142 funds the war through September but does not establish a timetable for withdrawal. The Senate approved it 80-14, and President Bush signed it Friday.
Murtha, a decorated Marine and
"There is a point when the money for our troops in
Jim Longo, one of Murtha's constituents in western
"I want them to bring them home, but I don't want to bring them home shabby," said Longo, 81, of
Sestak, a former Navy vice admiral, voiced similar concerns.
"I cannot vote to have these service members' safety be caught between us and someone we hope will blink — for hope is not a strategy," he said.
But if Sestak is voting for funding with no end in sight, then "he really didn't seem to have much of a plan either," said Mike Higgins, 34, of Media.
A year ago, Sestak declared the war a "tragic misadventure" and called for withdrawal of troops within 12 months. That shouldn't be forgotten, Higgins said.
"I think somehow they should be held accountable to their pre-election promises," Higgins said.
Diana Hogg, of
Hogg knows the troops in
"That doesn't mean they shouldn't try," Hogg said.
Carney, a lieutenant commander in the Navy Reserve and former Pentagon intelligence analyst, said during his campaign that he wanted Congress to exert greater oversight over
Ruth Harvey, a senior citizen who was walking her dog in downtown Sunbury on Friday, said she wants to see the war stopped, but that Carney "didn't have any choice, I guess."
Carney's vote concerned constituent Glenn Fausey, who he said he doesn't see evidence that the
"We ought to have either a timetable to get out or a better strategy for the war," said Fausey, 59, of Selinsgrove.
Bill Felix, owner of a candy store in Murtha's hometown of
"He's fought against this war and he's going to continue to fight it," said Felix, 60. "I think this is just chapter one in a book of many chapters on this thing."
Associated Press Writers Martha Raffaele in