Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bush vs Reid on Iraq

While President G.W. Bush threatens a veto of legislation containing timetables for withdrawing soldiers out of Iraq, the Democratic Leader Senator Harry Reid finds his balls. His response to the President is a threat to completely cut off funding for the Iraq War. This is truly good politics. Much better than the corrupt rubber stamp Congress of old. I believe the Democrats are finally finding some back bone. "Give 'em Hell Harry"!


Bush to push back at Democrats over Iraq deadline
Source: Agence France Presse 04/03/2007
WASHINGTON, April 3, 2007 (AFP) -

President George W. Bush is expected to remain defiant Tuesday one day after Democrats hardened their position on linking Iraq war funding to a troop pullout deadline.

Bush is scheduled to make a statement on the over-100 billion dollar Iraq and Afghanistan war budget legislation at around 10:10 am (1410 GMT) after weeks of demanding the funding without the Democrat's added requirement for a timetable to end the US presence in Iraq.

For weeks Bush has threatened to veto the legislation which has passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in two versions, and now awaits reconciliation into one bill before being forwarded to Bush.

On Monday Senate Democrats raised the stakes in the bitter fight themselves, unveiling a new bid to cut off nearly all funding for the Iraq war after March 31, 2008 if Bush vetoes the bill they plan to submit to the White House.

Co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senator Russ Feingold, the new Democrat measure would cut funding for most Iraq war operations after March 31, 2008, the date already set as a goal for withdrawal of most combat troops in the 122 billion war budget bill passed by the Senate.

It would permit funding only for operations against Al-Qaeda, training and equipping Iraqi troops and protecting US personnel and installations.

"If the president vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period," Reid said.

Feingold said in an email message to supporters that the bill would use "Congress's constitutional 'power of the purse' authority to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008."
"Our bill funds the troops, it just de-funds the war," he said.

The legislation, to be officially unveiled on April 10 when the Senate returns from its Easter break, would almost certainly face a veto by Bush.

But it is a high-stakes poker game: Democrats lack majorities required to overcome a Bush veto, and they are depending on widespread fatigue over the war to keep the public on their side.
But the White House is playing strongly to the public as well, declaring that Congress was going to deny US soldiers adequate funding to do their jobs, and meanwhile give the enemy a timetable to take over.

Vice President Dick Cheney warned Monday the United States faced defeat in Iraq if Democrats succeed in imposing withdrawal.

It's time the self-appointed strategists on Capitol Hill understood a very simple concept: You cannot win a war if you tell the enemy you're going to quit," Cheney said in prepared remarks.
"When members of Congress speak not of victory but of time limits, deadlines, or other arbitrary measures, they're telling the enemy to simply watch the clock and wait us out," he charged.
"It's time for Congress to stop the political theater and send the president a bill he can sign into law."
But Democrats said it was necessary if Bush fails to bow to the public will.

"We'll fund the war in three month increments. We're going to keep you on a tighter string," said Senator Barack Obama.

Reid's spokesman Jim Manley said the public no longer supported the war.
"As more and more Americans demand to see the troops get out of what is clearly a civil war, this administration stubbornly continues to stick its head in the sand," Manley said.
Democratic and Senate negotiators are spending the current recess in Congress reconciling the House and Senate versions of the budget bill that can be sent to Bush's desk.
The House version of the war budget contains a withdrawal deadline of August 31, 2008.

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