At a meeting with constituents last week at Southampton's Rogers Memorial Library Congressman Bishop defended Congressional Democrats' votes on funding the war in Iraq.
Bishop said that a 100 billion dollar funding measure passed by the House and vetoed by President Bush was tied to a plan for a phased withdrawal within nine months. Bishop says simply cutting off supplemental funding would not work.
"that then creates the worst of all possible worlds where we have our soldiers in harm's way without adequate protection. without adequate support. Cutting off funding is not the right thing to do. And I will also tell you that there are not sufficient votes even in the House to do that and certainly not enough votes in the Senate to do that."He says the President could find other ways to pay for the war.
"There is not a doubt in my mind that if the Congress were to cut off funding the President would simply beg, borrow and steal from the Pentagon budget ..... to keep those troops there."On immigration, Bishop says he supports accommodating the need for an immigrant labor force on Long Island until comprehensive immigration reform including border control and a path for citizenship is enacted.
He says he will lobby House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a bill increasing temporary work visas urged by local businesses that hire seasonal workers.
A recent New York State court decision denied Southampton Village the right to establish a hiring site on a vacant lot purchased with funds designed to preserve open space. But Bishop says he is in favor of a hiring site.
"What we have right now is unacceptable and I think that while we are waiting for comprehensive reform we need to take a bad situation and make it somewhat less bad and that's what a hiring hall does."
Congressman Bishop faces a challenge from 27 year old Republican Lee Zeldin of Shirley in this November’s election.
From the WPKN East End News Team report heard on WPKN 89.5 / WPKM 88.7 at 6:30pm Monday-Friday.