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Politics

RPOF Chairman Thrasher Takes Aim at Meek, Grayson for Missing Military Funding Vote

July 27, 2010 - 6:00pm

The U.S. House passed a measure Tuesday by a 308-114 vote, continuing the funding of American military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Three members of the Florida delegation -- U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, who is running in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate; U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, and U.S. Rep. Bill Young -- missed the vote.

Republican Party of Florida Chairman John Thrasher, a decorated veteran of Vietnam, took aim at Democrats Meek and Grayson on Wednesday for missing the vote, ignoring Republican Young, who missed the vote because he is recovering from back surgery.

It is appalling that during a time when Kendrick Meek is asking Florida voters for a promotion, he chose to campaign in South Florida rather than vote for critical funding to support our troops and their mission in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the Jacksonville state senator.

Every day, soldiers from across the state of Florida fight to defend our freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, continued Thrasher. Kendrick Meek and Alan Grayson shouldnt let politics get in the way of providing essential support for these Floridians who are risking their lives on our behalf. The soldiers, sailors and Marines this bill will support cant miss missions or pick and choose which operations to complete, so why should their representatives in Congress pick and choose what bills to vote for and which votes they can just sit out.

Floridians are counting on our congressional delegation to be our voice in Washington, concluded Thrasher. If Kendrick Meek and Alan Grayson wont speak on our behalf, we need to find replacements who will and who understand the tremendous responsibility with which members of the Unites States Congress are entrusted.

Later on Wednesday, Meek said he missed the vote because he was speaking to the Florida Sheriffs Association Summer Training Conference and that the vote had been moved up from Thursday when it was originally scheduled.

My record stands clear, said Meek. Ive supported the men and women in uniform.

Noting that there were more than 300 votes lined up to back the measure, Meek said there was no threat in the bill going down to defeat. I would have voted for the supplement, he added.

Congressman Grayson has been very clear and consistent about his opposition to the supplemental funding of the wars, said Todd Jurkowski, Graysons press secretary. He regrets missing the vote.However, the congressman entered into the Congressional Record how we would have voted.

Three Democrats from Florida -- Alcee Hastings, Kathy Castor and Corrine Brown -- voted against the measure.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com or at (850) 727-0859.

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