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Boehner: Obama Putting Troops at Risk as He Deliberates on Afghan Strategy

House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that President Barack Obama has put American troops stationed in Afghanistan at risk while he continues to weigh whether to send 40,000 additional soldiers into the region.

“The decisions about what’s going on in Afghanistan are critically important to the future our country, and the foot-dragging that is going on by the administration puts our troops there in much greater danger than they would be otherwise,” Boehner told reporters.

“I think it’s time for the administration to make a real decision,” he added.

Over the past few weeks, Republicans have pressed Obama to follow the recommendation of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top commander in Afghanistan, to deploy additional troops to Afghanistan. Obama has been meeting with a team of advisers on his Afghan strategy and has said he would make a decision in the coming weeks.

Boehner refused to respond directly to comments made by Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who said Tuesday that Democrats had put a greater focus on Afghanistan than Republicans did when they had control of the Congress and the White House.

“Listen, when it comes to the issue of war, there’s no partisanship here, none.” Boehner said. “We have all worked together to support our troops in the field.”

House Republican leaders also continued their assault on the Democratic health care reform plans Wednesday, focusing on the negative effects that they believe a public insurance option will have on small businesses.

GOP Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) also accused Democrats of making backroom deals in order to pass a bill. Democrats in the House and Senate are trying to put the final pieces of their respective packages together this week.

“There is nothing quite as frightening as the unknown,” Pence said. “I think it’s deeply offensive to millions of Americans, and it should be deeply offensive to members of the fourth estate that the reorganization of one-sixth of the American economy is taking place behind closed doors in smoke-filled rooms.”

As Republicans spoke to reporters, a small group of House Democrats took to the floor to counter the criticism and highlight the fact the GOP has yet to offer a comprehensive bill of its own.

“Rather than working with Democrats, Republicans are choosing to be the ‘party of no,’ and the status quo is not a solution,” Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said as she stood next to a poster that read, “126 Days and Counting ... Where’s the Republican

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