Leader Blues

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

TOP STORY >>Snyder set to chair military subcommittee

By JOHN HOFHEIMER
Leader staff writer

Cong. Vic Snyder, D-Little Rock, fresh off a landslide victory over his sacrificial Republican challenger said Thursday that he expected to be a House Armed Services subcommittee chairman when the reconstituted House of Representatives re-convenes in January.

“My committee will take a real thorough look at the GI bill,” said Snyder, who served in Vietnam as a Marine. “It needs to be improved.” He cited military health care as a particularly important area of concern. Snyder said the Democratic sweep in Tuesday’s election of both the House and the Senate was “good for the country.” “Voters were saying they are dissatisfied with what (their elected officials) were delivering,” Snyder said. “They have every right to have higher expectations.”
“I’m excited about the prospects of more open and ethical process in congress,” he said.

He said presumptive House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would be moderate in her office, but not to the exclusion of good oversight. Of charges that a Democratic sweep would result in impeachment charges against President George Bush, Snyder said, “That’s ridiculous.” He said Congress had more important challenges, especially regarding the security of the country, support of the men and women in uniform and the wise use of tax dollars to make America safe. He said the lowest point in recent government was its failure to respond to Hurricane Katrina. He said in the space of one term, the Office of Emergency Management deteriorated from “one of the best” to one that failed in a time of crises.

Snyder said he suspected that Bush would strike a more conciliatory tone with Democrats, now that they control both houses of Congress. “As he said, he got thumped,” said Snyder. He said the president already acknowledged the new political reality by the firing of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Asked if he expected to run for reelection again, he said he hadn’t even begun the term to which he was just elected. “We just take it two years at a time,” he said.