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Iraq Supplemental Debate: The Final Act

The battle over the supplemental spending bill for the Iraq war can be boiled down into a five-act play, heading toward a climactic showdown at some point next month. The first two acts have already been completed, with the House and Senate passing versions of the supplemental and setting differing withdrawal dates from Iraq next year.

The next act is playing out now, as the two chambers are hashing out the differences between their bills in order to send a compromise version to the White House for a likely veto -- which would be the fourth act. And the final act will be in May as the two sides figure out how to fund this ongoing war in Iraq while placing some restrictions on it.

Officially, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) is not talking about handling the veto once President George W. Bush rejects the pending House-Senate conference report. "We're not quite willing to speculate that far on this," said Drew Hammill, spokesman for Pelosi.

One option that would appeal to many anti-war liberals appears to be off the table -- not acting upon the veto and just not passing the supplemental, thereby denying funds for the war. Such an action would almost be akin to the Newt Gingrich-led government shutdown in 1995-1996, so Democrats have written off this tactic.

Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) admitted as much at a campaign stop Sunday in Iowa, telling the Associated Press no lawmaker ``wants to play chicken with our troops."

``My expectation is that we will continue to try to ratchet up the pressure on the president to change course,'' he said. "I don't think that we will see a majority of the Senate vote to cut off funding at this stage."

Both sides have already begun posturing about when the funds need to get to the troops, with the White House arguing Congress should cut short its spring recess to finish the bill. However, Democrats pointed to a Congressional Research Service report indicating that the Army could tap reserve funds that would keep the war fully funded into July.

This sets up the first critical negotiation between Congressional Democrats and the White House, as Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) are not capable of passing the supplemental bill without help from Republicans. That's because any post-veto supplemental bill that does not include strong withdrawal language means Pelosi and Reid will lose votes on their left flank from anti-war Democrats.

Last month, Pelosi got 218 votes, almost a bare majority, for her version of the supplemental and that included just two Republican votes. Reid passed his version with 51 total votes, also with just two Republicans on his side.

One Senate GOP aide, asking for anonymity to talk internal caucus strategy, said Reid would likely get plenty of votes from Republicans so long as the withdrawal date language is stripped from the bill. Republicans have no strong objection to much of the language calling for clear benchmarks of progress by the Iraqi government, so those could probably stay in the final bill.

Bush has threatened to veto both the House and Senate versions of the supplemental also because about one-sixth of the price tag comes from congressional add-ons not related to the war in Iraq. But the GOP aide suggested that few Senate Republicans would vote against primarily military funding because of additional spending items. "Sustaining a pork veto is little more difficult," the aide said.

Still, Pelosi would be in a difficult position on the House side, as several dozen anti-war members of her caucus have previously threatened to vote against the bill. In the end, Pelosi had just 14 'no' votes from her side of the aisle, but that number could double or triple if there is no withdrawal language in the final version of the supplemental that is considered next month after Bush's veto.

Pelosi has had a successful first 100 days at passing legislative items, sometimes winning the backing of dozens and dozens of House Republicans, but she has yet to pass a bill that HAD to have GOP votes in order for passage.

The post-veto version of the supplemental spending bill, if its withdrawal language is stripped out, will require Bush to lean on House Republicans to come aboard and do a favor for the speaker who they have quickly grown to despise in a few short months.

And that should be a final act that's worth watching.

By Paul Kane  |  April 5, 2007; 7:12 AM ET
Categories:  Purse Strings  
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Next: Putnam's 11, Seeing 'Red'


Have a nice day,i am afraid to say anything else,the balance between freedom and civility,has never been adressed properly.

Posted by: armand agresti | April 5, 2007 8:34 AM | Report abuse

An interesting balancing act for Pelosi. I'd expect new ideas enforcing Iraqi compliance as a compromise capable of attracting enough votes from R's to override a veto.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | April 5, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

The IRAQ national committee on oil has not completed its assignment of oil contracts. The real question I believe is will Bush leave Iraq before the oil assignment of contracts are signed. The staging area for withdrawal of troups is being prepared. The new troups will be needed for rear guard assignments. The ships are positioning for troup pick up not for action against IRAN.

Posted by: Harry Rossman | April 5, 2007 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Compromise is purely subjectivity in action, in the bill (HR 1591) I believe
our Congress voted in the affirmation
of their conscience and constituency.

Compromise is really a veto! I don't lightly favor a veto but a promise from
the president to submit to Congress and
the Americans republic, a reversal of the
"open-ended committment of our troops and
resources" in the Iraq & Afghanistan theatre. Because, the president didn't work out a compromise with the Congress while they were in the debate, "Come now, Mr. President? I mean, to veto this bill,
sends a wrong message to the country and the world community! I believe compromise must begin with the president, and not begin with the American people. period!

Posted by: Dennis Andrews | April 5, 2007 9:59 AM | Report abuse

What's sad is all politicians are the same. Giving the Iraq national committee a deadline is like telling our Congress there is a deadline. None is willing to believe it with each arguing deadlines are artificial and don't need to be met.

Like the Vietnam mess, some kind of win would be nice, but I fear the horse we backed is too weak and undisciplined to win against their opponent.

Posted by: B. Carter | April 5, 2007 10:11 AM | Report abuse

We hear from Iraq media that the talk of cutting money to fight terrorists in Iraq is starting to overwhelm those who started it in the first place. We hear most in Washington are wondering if they should continue on with the idea in the first place. They are waiting on their break to see if their constituents back home are still interested in putting their troops in more harms way by chopping away at their resources to enable them to fight terrorists in the first place. Suddenly the interest is waning as it should be as we need to continue on with the war here so you don't have to go through the terrible war in America like here in Iraq. I do not believe Americans are prepared in their minds to face a war in their country. We in the Iraq military are willing to fight terrorists here. Help us finish the job. Thank you

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 10:14 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats should fund the troops and withdraw all monies for the salary of Bush and his cronies.

Posted by: candide | April 5, 2007 10:19 AM | Report abuse

Great series, Capital Briefing! This is exactly the kind of reporting I come to Capital Briefing for - keep up the good work Mr. Kane.

Posted by: Patrick Huss | April 5, 2007 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Bush could both approve the bill and issue one of his famous *signing statements* totally disregarding the deadline for troop withdrawal. But he won't this time, because Rove and Cheney have put into his head that if he provokes a showdown and vetoes the bill with great fanfare, the Democrats will be blamed for not funding the troops. Except that, just as Rove was wrong when saying that he had *the maths* for the November elections, he is just as wrong now to think that the public will turn on the Democrats. A majority of Americans are now in favor of bringing the troops home. They will blame Bush for defunding the troops. Sometimes, it pays to listen to public opinion. It seems that no one in the WH and the rest of the Administration has understood that simple fact yet.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Would someone describe how "victory" would look, since we all seem to need one in order to pack up. Is it for example, the Baghdad electricity on more than 4 hours a day beyond the Emerald City? The oil contracts with BP and Chevron signed? Fewer than 100 grunts blown up in a month for the next month? Jobs other than those offered by the police or the army? No beheadings? fewer mortar rounds coming in after 6pm. All 1.2 million Iraqi refugees back in country? What is it?
Also, perhaps someone can tell me why 490 billion a year isn't enough money to do something right...beyond the need for a "supplement" to run a war.

Posted by: david crockett | April 5, 2007 11:23 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Why not follow the President's lead.

If he vetos, just say, often and loudly that Congress did provide funding, and President vetoed it. If situation does change Congress can always reconsider. But the reason that troops are not getting funding now is because of the veto, not Congress.

Posted by: Bucco Fan | April 5, 2007 12:54 PM | Report abuse

Why not start discussing the war supplemental authorizations in three month increments instead of a year? Fund him for three months ask for benchmarks, progress or changes before funding for another three months and so on. I think this President needs to be on a short leash particularly given the perfidiousness he displayed in dealing with the Fox nomination. If he begins to whine just tell him that just as the constitution authorizes recess apointments there is nothing in there about congress having to appropriate funds for supplementals a year at a time. If you want it a year at a time put it on-budget and watch the deficit swell.

Posted by: Paul Bogdanich | April 5, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Act three, as you call it, is no walk in the park as I see it. For example, the Senate version may not make it through the house. It may require Republican support to pass. If this is the case, the Senate version might be the best Bush can hope for. That is a monolithic GOP and a handful of anti-war Democrats could prevent compromise. Then what?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 1:18 PM | Report abuse

Bush has in caucas promised congressional Republicans that things will be better in Iraq by August of this year, but they are obviously getting much worse. Why not give Bush exactly what he wants until August? (But no later!); in the interm, have much publicized congressional hearings on problems and progress in Iraq. When August gets here, the elections will be much closer, and there should be enough Republican votes to override any veto.

Posted by: g Anton | April 5, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 1:48 PM | Report abuse

In the Kurdistan region of Iraq things are as calm as can be up there, just four hours drive from Baghdad. The area is thriving economically and peace is breaking out all over. The troubled areas are becoming less troubled, and as coalition forces move in and hold the problem spots, the troubled areas shrink.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan NOW!, TODAY!, IMMEDIATELY!!!!! Not another life or $ should be wasted for the jerk *W*/DICKY regime while the jerk politicians try to reach a decision. ENOUGH!!!!!!! Both wars have been lost.

Posted by: Ken | April 5, 2007 2:18 PM | Report abuse



Posted by: EART HAS A FEVER, LOL | April 5, 2007 4:57 PM | Report abuse

Lets stop calling it a war and call it what it really is: an OCCUPATION . Resisted by many in Iraq. Entertain for a minute the scenario of Saddam Hussein insisting on regime change in the USA due to the overwhelming evidence of huge numbers of WMD along with a leadership who threatens military action consistently. Now imagine him victorious in a matter of weeks and then rather than leaving he dissolves the government, military, excludes all democrats and republicans from public office and sets up a puppet government. Americans resist, are called terrorists and accused of not having enough gratitude for all Saddam has done. Think ABOUT THAT FOR A MINUTE. Would you call that a war or an occupation if it was done to you?

Posted by: george orwell | April 5, 2007 7:05 PM | Report abuse

BuccoFan, I absolutely agree with you.

According to the Borgen Project, $340 billion has already been spent on the war in Iraq. Even with all of the time and money already spent, nothing has happened and there is no progress. If four years hasn't been enough to make progress, what good would more fundig do? Unfortunately, we are will be embroiled in this mess for years to come, whether we leave or not.

We caused this situation and we need to be responsible enough to fix it, unlike our hit and run tactics in the past. Democrats and Congress need to find a viable way to leave Iraq without it being in ruins. Simply leaving without planning would be a disaster, another Afghanistan. I certainly hope that the Dems will be responsible in redirecting funding. The US needs to join together with the rest of the world leaders in figuring out a multilateral, economically productive way of restoring Iraq and ending terrorism and Mid-East tensions.

One of the most effective ways is to end global poverty. Our leaders need to not abandon Iraq, but support its growth and the growth of other undeveloped countries by funding the UN Millennium Development Goals. According to the Borgen Project, just 0.16 of out federal budget is spent on poverty reduction while $340 billion has been spent on the war. We need to redirect our funds to programs that will work to combat the conditions that foster extremism.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 5, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

THE NEW DIRECTION - exception to the facts - no one ever asked WHAT DIRECTION ARE YOU POINTING. A reality would be - THE WRONG DIRECTION. After the November 7th mandate by the PEOPLE [they used to count] there was a great ray of hope that Congress and Senate would shift from the ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL mentality to LETS GET IT DONE RIGHT. But, the SIDETRACK routine was exercised so the STAY THE COURSE would be the mission for accomplishments. Look at the present OVERSOLD accomplishments and you can easily recognize the STAY THE COURSE - only they call it the DEMOCRATIC VIEWPOINT now. Checking the Majority Leader's agenda each week - it appears that a lot of rhetoric is being exposed but the important issues [as promised] are being SIDETRACKED. One of those promises was the INVESTIGATION OF THE IRAQ WAR. Ninety Seven days [and counting] with nothing - zilch - about the INVESTIGATION AS PROMISED. If Congress would have not pointed their activities towards obtaining kudos - the INVESTIGATION would be in action today and the problem of FUNDING THE TROOPS would be much clearer. The problems of the FUNDING and DEPLOYMENT would make more sense if the DIRECTIONAL DECIDERS would observe WHY WE ARE WHERE WE ARE AND HOW IN THE WORLD DID WE GET THERE AND WHOM DID THE debacle BENEFIT. Could there be any truth to PEOPLE IN HIGH PLACES not wanting the INVESTIGATION to even begin.. If any part of this is true - then the New Direction will always have a undesirable meaning.

Posted by: WILLIAM J CLEMONS | April 6, 2007 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Thank you for your great article! I love the idea of incrementally funding the war by the month until August to see if the surge is producing the promised halycon days in Iraq! Another consideration is that Speaker Pelosi is damned if she does fund and damned if she doesn't. So why should she do anything if Bush vetoes? If the President vetoes the supplemental, she has to weigh the possible political jolt that she might suffer for completely defunding the war, against the possible political boost and incredible historical justification that would probably eventuate. I think that President Bush will think long and hard before trying her choler. There may not be any birds in the bush, should he be too tushy.

Posted by: Charles Bowman | April 6, 2007 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Anyone remember the movie Red Dawn with Patrick Swayze(sp?)and Charlie Sheen. In this movie the Soviets and Cubans invade and occupy a large portion of the USA, including Michigan where the movie takes place. Patrick, Charlie and a bunch of high schoolers go into the mountains and decide to fight back. Under the name of the Wolverines they blow up military vehicles in convoys, set off bombs in the local town buildings, kill as many Soviets and Cubans who invaded our country.....any of this sound familiar????......the invaders called them terrorists, but in the movie they were patriots fighting the invaders and occupiers. Who are we really fighting in Iraq? Our government and media call them terrorists and insurgents. Many in the Arab world call them patriots fighting the invaders and occupiers. The leader of one of our allies, Saudia Arabia, has said that we are illegally occupying Iraq. I think its time to get out of Iraq....lets start working with the international community for a reasonable exit strategy.

Posted by: cag | April 6, 2007 6:49 PM | Report abuse

When the constitution was written, I don't think that anyone would have fathom a president or congressmen choosing party over United. They believed that one nation under God would always be acknowledged and upheld as the basic foundation of our country. I think that in light of Bush's threat of a veto, regardless of what the majority--or the minority for that matter--says, combined with the misguided allegience of our congressmen with their decision to choice party over people, thus leaving us with a feeling of helplessness, the american people should have an opportunity to be heard. A supplement should be added to the veto process. The process should be: 1. If congress passes a bill, and 2. The president vetos the bill, then 3. Instead of returning to congress, the decision should be voted on by the American people the day after the president's veto. The vote of the American people would be the determiner.

Posted by: MsAh1on1 | April 7, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

All good Americans will give the President the benefit of the doubt in times of emergency, opposition party included. However, all good Americans, especially the opposition party, must demand that that the doubt is erased AND must hold the president and his party responsible if that trust is betrayed used cynically to consolidate power. They must DEMAND accountability. If not impeachment....40 years in the political wilderness. Investigate and document the inexcusable behavior of this administration.

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 7, 2007 10:19 PM | Report abuse

I would suggest that bush and his war backers start to regain or collect all or some of the stolen money and commidties from iraqis and americans who were allowed to steal the iraqinational wealth,so they can keep the filthy occupation and not beging the congress for more taxpayrs hard cash,would be noticable if someone publish the surg amount of stolen wealth of iraq in figurs?????????!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: amr | April 8, 2007 4:55 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: Anonymous | April 8, 2007 10:56 PM | Report abuse

Since no improvement is being made on the Iraq War, we need to spend our resources on other issues such as global poverty in order to discourage more terrorism and wars. According to the Borgen Project, in reality only .16% of our federal budget is spent on poverty reduction, the least among wealthy nations. We should let our representatives know that we want change.

Posted by: marie2 | April 9, 2007 12:53 PM | Report abuse

If the Dems fund it with time limits and the Decider vetoes it, he's the one denying the troops the funding. The Dems should just keep sending back nearly identical language, changed just enough so that they are not attempting to override his veto. If they keep sending him funding and he keeps vetoing, he's defunding the troops, not them. It's really simple.

Posted by: Nonamnesiac | April 9, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Why do politicians use their instincts instead of facts to proclaim their superior knowledge to be so much greater than the "non-politician". Immigration stands out as an prime example.

The politicians think in terms of "fines" "punishment" "exhorbant time required" "fees" " go back to the end of the line" --all enough to make the most thoughtful potential undocumented entrance into U.S. a complete no-brainer.

Why is logic never an element of propriety that a simple person's brain can exude.

President Bush is on another journey of political discovery - attempting to discover a way he can post up on the players and beat them to the final game. He and the players demand that the Undocumented Persons be so encumbered with reality that they will just volunteer to go back to Mexico - volunteer to pay out $10,000 fines or wait 11 years to tackle the Constitution. Whilest they are dummying up they will volunteer to pull out the $3000 fees from their last pair of socks.

The Undocumented would become documented through the establishment of OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE. - a new office to register - educate - assist - enforce and to administer the program that will take the "naysayer" out of the equation. Building a fence with 25 mile entrance points to prevent the illegal entrance. Requirements to enter - Social Security Card - these would be available in Mexico Office of Immigration Assistance.

And the players sit at the same table - Democrats and Republicans with President Bush presiding.

Posted by: willclem | April 9, 2007 4:08 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Ike Skelton's office recently made a public statement to the effect that he would not use the term "Global War on Terror" in his defense bill on the basis that he thought that it would be better to drop this kind of colloquialism, (which was based on Bush's terms adopted post 9/11). Skelton stated that he would use the terms war in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan, which was designed to cause people to focus on the merits of the Democrats substituting a war on terror in Afghanistan for Bush's stupidity and losses in the war in Iraq, in furtherance of the Democrats recently adopted position that the Democrats wanted to shift assets to the war on terror in Afghanistan (from the losing Bush war on terror in Iraq), and because Bush and the Republicans have tattooed the Democrats for over a year and a half on undercutting Bush's war on terror in Iraq and being unpatriotic. Unfortunately, the Democrats focus on ONLY the war in terror in Afghanistan and using military assets to accomplish the goal is flawed and susceptible to attack. See, e.g, Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post, March 30, 2007 (at A 17). Space limitations preclude me detailing the problems with this Democratic focus ONLY on the war on terror in Afghanistan and implicitly Pakistan and Musharraf.
The Democrats are correct in predicating their primary attack on Bush/Republican war "ON," not in, Iraq on the argument that of the two "wars" we are fighting, the war ON Iraq and the "war on terror," the latter must be the U.S. No. 1 priority; and, implicitly, that we cannot afford to fight both wars simultaneously. The Democrats, however, should argue, but are not arguing, that the U.S. must shut down our war ON Iraq and shift the assets we have been "investing" in Iraq to what I call the TRUE WAR ON TERROR. I am writing you, because I am extremely concerned that the Democrats may well be blowing for this country the political battle over the war ON Iraq by failing to cite and assert as the key, paramount and almost politically irrefutable justification for shutting down the war ON Iraq---the paramount need to fight the TRUE WAR ON TERROR and not just in Afghanistan. Rather, we must shift much of the Iraqi war expenditures and other resources to the following (which, to the best of my knowledge, has not been cited in the House and Senate, at least to the point that it has been cited and picked up by the media): (1) counterintelligence and intelligence to spy on and infiltrate terrorist cells and activities; (2) improvement and expansion of U.S. home front security and true defense efforts, e.g. seaports, borders, atomic facilities, inspection of airline cargo holds, etc.; (3) the bolstering, refurbishing and restoring U.S. military equipment, armor and other physical capabilities and of our troops, including the National Guard, and providing proper medical assistance and otherwise helping military personnel and their families; and (4)U.S. new, effective means of providing foreign economic and other development assistance to aid the poor and unemployed of terrorist-harboring countries to overcome the poverty and despair of these people, that make them susceptible to terrorist recruiting. It goes without saying that part of this effort would be for the Democrats to pledge that once they get control of the White House, they will cease Bush's "Neo-Con," arrogant, adversarial and confrontational approach to hegemonic diplomacy and will attempt to make effective contact and open constructive dialogues with countries that have been hostile or adversaries of U.S. policies or that otherwise act in a manner that is inimical to U.S. interests and to find ways to expose the people of these countries in a positive fashion to the economic benefits and freedoms that the U.S. system provides its citizens and could be made available to them, if détente and cooperation characterize future relationships between their country and the U.S..
Even though I am a partisan Democrat, I am writing, because I believe that this country cannot afford another Bush-like President or the reestablishment of a Republican hegemony on Capital Hill. My above assertions totally undercut the Bush/Republican arguments that the Democrats are unpatriotically shutting down the war ON Iraq and are undercutting and destroying his version of the war on terror centered ON Iraq (which the National Defense Estimate signed by Mr. Negroponte, per a Washington Post article by Karen DeYoung of September 24, 2006 (Page A 1), indicated that our occupation of Iraq has, in effect created more terrorists and is a loser as a war on terror) and are not supporting our troops and defense capabilities. These Democratic arguments and their impact on these Bush/Republican arguments should be readily understood and accepted by the U.S. soccer moms and other Americans, who will easily opt to support Democrats and their TRUE WAR ON TERROR policy designed to save and secure the lives of their kids, spouse and other relatives and family friends and property against another 9/11 terrorist type of attack in the U.S. over the Bush/Republican policy/argument. Such policy/argument is predicated on the anti-terrorist justification for fighting in Iraq; the "need" to: support and bring to fruition an allegedly nascent experiment in Islamic western style democracy in Iraq (only promulgated after the Bush rationales/justifications based on the existence of Iraqi WMD's and links to and support of Alqaeda were proved to be false); use U.S. military and contractors to fight for the Iraqis to "save" their lives; avoid and end their bloody civil war; and achieve Bush's (phony and ineffective, per the National Defense Estimate) war in terror goals centered ON Iraq,.
Another argument the Democrats are not making (to the best of my knowledge) concerns the fundamental stupidity and impracticality underlying Bush's "war on terror ON Iraq" strategy and Bush's current "surge policy" is that the U.S. military is faced with and has the same problems that one encounters when one plays the carnival game, "WhackaMole." Each time one whacks with a big mallet one little mole head (read terrorist location for attacks), which has just popped up, two or three other mole heads pop-up in rapid succession, which one has to whack quickly and frenetically (and one often fails) and this continues ad infinitum till the game ends. Similarly, the Iraqi terrorists have the option of switching and selecting sites for their attacks, but in their case, instead of a few mole head pop-up sites, they can select from one of tens of thousands of other geographic areas in Iraq to attack and operate, for as long and as briefly as they want. Thus, the only difference between Whackamole and Bush's game is that Whackamole ends after one has frenetically had to keep up with maybe whacking, say 30 or 40 mole heads for a minute or two, until the game automatically shuts off, whereas the terrorists can continue switching to and selecting thousands of new attack sites until Hell freezes over. Moreover, attempting to achieve Bush's goals of "whacking" Iraqi terrorists with 160,000 or whatever number of troops he is going to send there, as part of his "surge" policy, is like trying to play WhackaMole with a baby teaspoon--that is broken---, instead of a big mallet

Posted by: Robert S. Fastov | April 9, 2007 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Post above: MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.

That's what we fought the war for? Thousands of troops, a trillion bucks, so "most" (whatever that means) Iraqis think things are better than under a vicious dictator who tortured them?

I wonder how the more than 650,000 dead Iraqis, what's left of their families, and the 2 million, who are among the most educated Iraqis, who have left the country feel about it.

Posted by: Marcia | April 10, 2007 7:33 PM | Report abuse

willcleam "The Undocumented would become documented through the establishment of OFFICE OF IMMIGRATION ASSISTANCE"

Sounds very Orwellian.

Posted by: Marcia | April 10, 2007 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Leaders in the Democratic party continue to misinterpret the reasons for their return to political power. There is a tendency to attribute their success to general citizen discontent with the war. This misreading of American thought is likely to erode Democratic authority. However, the most salient discontent with President Bush's agenda appears to be his pro-immigration fixation, with his determination to erode national borders.

Posted by: D. G. B. | April 11, 2007 4:15 AM | Report abuse

No one is going to believe that Bush is denying the troops money. This has been hanging out there to long and everyone knows that the dems have attached a time line and pork to the bill. If the dems were smart(?) they would just fund the troops and get this out of the way because Bush is going to hammer them everyday on this until he gets it done. Dems are already taking a hit in the polls and that will continue unless they start getting their act together. Even libs have to admit that they have had nothing signed into law. Ried is starting to look pathetic with all this whinning he is doing.

Posted by: Angel | April 11, 2007 9:23 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: DELMAN9619@AOL.COM | April 11, 2007 4:28 PM | Report abuse

I hope the Democrats stick to their "guns" so to speak and not back down. They need to counter Bush's false claims with the fact that Bush will be the one denying the troops of funding with his promised veto. They need to make sure that the American people know that Congress has provided every dollar of funding that Bush has requested, if not more, and that it is Bush whom has threatened to refuse funding for the troops.

Additionally, I hope that the Democrats will go along with the Senate withdrawal date this round in March 2008. That way they will have room to compromise in a second and third round, if it gets to that point, by moving the date back a little (such as June 2008 with the final third compromise being September 2008) and trimming down their pork spending (unless they prefer to fully explain to the American people why peanut farmers need funding to counter Bush's complaints, etc.). Such a move would show that Democrats are willing to compromise and work with the president while keeping fighting for what they believe in. Reid and Pelosi need to realize the importance for fighting for what they believe in instead of caving under Bush's bullying.

The main thing is that the Democrats need to push back and not allow Bush to bully them into dropping their benchmarks, timeline, and redeployment date.

Posted by: T. | April 11, 2007 10:06 PM | Report abuse

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