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Lacy Clay opines on government shutdown, Libyan intervention

Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)
(Wikimedia Commons/Online Guide to House Members and Senators)
Rep. William Lacy Clay (D-Mo.)

Though he says a government shutdown would be "tragic," Missouri Democrat William Lacy Clay says he doesn't expect Republicans and Democrats to be able to reach an agreement on a budget for this year before a temporary spending plan expires next Friday.

The extension is the sixth since the federal budget expired in September 2010. And Clay says the U.S. House is in "total disarray," with Congressional Republicans choosing to advance policies simply to hurt the Obama administration.

"This week we're going to repeal HAMP, the Home Mortgage Assistance Program," he said. "And then we're going to bust the budget with $300 million with vouchers for D.C. schoolchildren. They aren't sincere about balancing the budget."

(The HAMP provision has already been repealed.)

But Clay also took aim at President Obama, a fellow Democrat, for his decision to intervene in Libya.

There's no need for the U.S. military to be involved in a third Middle Eastern war, he said. And the administration's current policy in Libya reminded Clay a lot of the 2001 decision to remove Saddam Hussein from power in Iraq.

"We did that in Iraq, and look what happened," Clay said. "We destroyed a civilized population, we bombed out their infrastructure, we bombed out their colleges and a lot of civilians got killed. I'm not for war."

The president has said Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi needs to go, but the current military mission is humanitarian in nature.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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