MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
But as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, other Democrats are expressing doubts about that approach.
BRIAN NAYLOR: Democrat Brad Ellsworth thought it was a bit soon to be taking a vacation, having just been sworn in as a freshman Congressman last month. So Ellsworth returned to his Indian Congressional District last week and held some town meetings, some two dozen of them, he says, to hear from his constituents. The number one thing on their minds, Ellsworth reports, was Iraq.
BRAD ELLSWORTH: It's run the gamut, but I would say there is frustration in everybody's voice and their eyes on how things are going, just an unsure and not knowing what the next course is, and how we're going to bring this to a successful conclusion.
NAYLOR: The chairman of the south committee that gets first crack at the measure, Democrat John Murtha of Pennsylvania, has outlined a proposal to attach conditions to the money, related to troop readiness levels. But other Democrats have begun voicing concerns about Murtha's approach. Jim Matheson of Utah is a leader of the conservative Blue Dogs Democrats.
JIM MATHESON: We got to make very real careful here, when you got troops on the ground that you are not, in an unintended way possibly, putting them at greater risk, and creating problems for them that they otherwise wouldn't have.
NAYLOR: Matheson says Congress should focus on its oversight rule rather than attempting to legislate an end to the war.
MATHESON: There's a lot Congress can do outside the supplemental appropriations bill, in terms of making sure that our troops are being taken cared off right, making sure all the options on the table for a strategy in Iraq are put out there too. I think that the committee process, the oversight process provide those venues.
NAYLOR: Freshman Democrat Joe Sestak of Pennsylvania ran last November as an ardent opponent of the Iraq War. But while the retired admiral calls Murtha a leader on the issue, he nonetheless differs with his approach.
JOE SESTAK: When Congress begins to get on what I - might be more operational level, I am wary of that. I am wary because Congress tends to be a blunt instrument. And there can be unknown, unintended unknown consequences and ramifications when you begin to get on and legislate on operational level issues.
NAYLOR: Brian Naylor, NPR News, The Capitol.
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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
Coming up, a new way to find out Ivory poaching in Africa, and a big disqualification in a bass fishing tournament over the weekend, that's when we continue with ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.