Tauscher Wants Both C-5s and C-17s at Travis
By Ben Antonius
VACAVILLE - With a few weeks as a member of the House majority under her belt, Rep. Ellen Tauscher visited Vacaville on Wednesday to talk about commitments to Travis Air Force Base and an impending showdown with President Bush over the war in Iraq.
Tauscher, who became chairwoman of the House Armed Services Subcommittee in January, was the featured speaker at a Solano Economic Development Corp. luncheon at Travis Credit Union.
The Walnut Creek Democrat, who represents much of Solano County, talked about the changing environment in Washington, the Iraq war and the looming choice between C-5 Galaxy and C-17 Globemaster III aircraft, a major issue for Travis Air Force Base where both planes are based.
"I don't want to be the mom in 'Sophie's Choice,' " said Tauscher, referring to the 1979 novel in which the heroine has to choose which of her two children to save. "I want more of everything."
The two cargo planes serve different roles and both will be necessary for the military to expand its airlift capacity, she said. President Bush didn't include funding for new C-17s in his most recent budget proposal, but Tauscher said Congress would likely change that.
"I promise you there will be an (increase) from the zero
C-17s the president has ordered," she said.
Tauscher also promised the crowd of about 100 that Democrats will find a solution for the Alternative Minimum Tax, a highly criticized part of the tax code that affects an increasing number of middle-income households. She said to expect a Congressional showdown with President Bush over the war in Iraq.
The Senate and the House of Representatives have approved separate bills that set withdrawal timetables for U.S. troops as a condition for continued war funding. President Bush will likely veto whatever bill Congress eventually sends to him, she predicted.
"You've seen nothing yet," she said.
Tauscher represents the 10th Congressional District, which includes Fairfield, Suisun City, Dixon, Travis Air Force Base, Elmira and Birds Landing. The House is now taking its annual Easter break.
Reach Ben Antonius at 427-6977 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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