Prince George's Notebook: Edwards Opposes War Funding Bill

By Ovetta Wiggins and Nelson Hernandez
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Rep. Donna F. Edwards (D) broke ranks with the rest of the Maryland congressional delegation last week when she voted against a bill to provide additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Edwards said in a statement that she could not support a bill that "continues to fund the misguided strategies being implemented in the wars."

The vote came days after she had visited Afghanistan.

"I could see first-hand the passion and commitment of our servicemen and women, our diplomats, and other civilians," Edwards said. "I saw the commitment and courage of Afghan women to build a future for their country. But this supplemental appropriations bill does not get us there."

She said the bill committed servicemen and women to a "war without end, placing them in harm's way" without an exit strategy.

Edwards was one of 51 Democrats who voted against the measure, which passed the House 368 to 60.

"I understand that we want to give our President an opportunity to work out a mess that he inherited but did not create," Edwards said. "Unfortunately, this Congress and this President must be honest with the American people. . . . We must have a plan that does not wait until we're mired deeper in a mess that we will not be able to dig out of for a generation."

County Expects High Marks From Wall Street Ratings Firms

County Executive Jack B. Johnson (D) and members of his budget team made their annual trek to New York last week to meet with Wall Street bond-rating companies, and Johnson said he is optimistic that the county will receive high marks.

"I believe that they were impressed with how we are managing our money, especially in this economy," Johnson said.

Last year, the county was awarded a AAA bond rating from Standard & Poor's Rating Services; that allows the county to borrow at lower interest rates. The rating was the highest the county had ever received.

Johnson said the county will get word from the rating companies in the next couple of weeks.

More School Officials Leave for New Jobs

More than six months after Superintendent John E. Deasy left the Prince George's County school system, the revolving door at the Sasscer Administration Building in Upper Marlboro is still spinning.

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