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The Democrats Oversight Fight On Iraq

House Democrats are relying on oversight more and more to undermine the administration's Iraq policy after repeatedly failing to set a withdrawal date through the annual spending process.

Four prominent chairmen wrote Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday to express their frustration with the State Department for failing to comply with congressional investigations into the allegations of widespread corruption within the Iraqi government.

Oversight Chairman Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.), Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton (D-Mo.) and Foreign Affairs Chairman Tom Lantos (D-Wis.) sent Rice a letter Friday complaining that government corruption was undermining U.S. military efforts in Iraq.

"We are writing to express our concern that endemic corruption in Iraq may be fueling the insurgency, endangering our troops, and undermining the chances for success," the chairmen wrote. "We are equally concerned that the refusal of State Department officials to answer questions about the extent of corruption in the government of Iraq undermines our ability to work together to eliminate this source of support for the insurgency and to enhance our chances of success in Iraq."