May 24, 2007



From CNN: Dems in tough spot with war funding bill.

Democrats in Congress face a tough decision on a bill funding the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that does not include a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Vote "yes," and they are certain to face the wrath of anti-war forces in their political base.

Vote "no," and they may further delay funding for military operations, in turn exposing themselves to the charge that they don't support the troops.

Considering those unhappy options, Democratic leaders in the House and Senate decided Tuesday to remove timetables from the bill. President Bush has promised to veto the bill if it does include a withdrawal deadline, a move that would mean delaying much-needed funding for military operations.

But conveying the Democratic leadership's hesitation to the president, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said members would not be forced into voting for the bill.

"I'm not likely to vote for something that doesn't have a timetable or a goal of coming home," Pelosi said.

Anti-war groups are furious at the decision of Democratic leaders to remove the timetables. released a statement saying it would consider recruiting primary challengers to lawmakers who support the bill, as well as advertising against them in their districts or states.

"Voters elected Democrats in November to lead the way out of the mess in Iraq," said Eli Pariser, executive director of Political Action, who decried the bill as "just a blank check for an endless war."

The pressure the funding measure is putting on Democratic senators running for president was clearly evident Wednesday.

UPDATE: From CNN: House, Senate pass war funding bill.

The House and Senate passed Thursday night a $120 billion war-spending bill that had been the primary point of contention between Democrats and President Bush.

The bill now goes before the president.

The vote in the Senate was 80 to 14.

The money would fund military operations -- mostly in Iraq -- through September, or the end of the federal fiscal year. Afghanistan would receive a portion of the funding.

The president gave the bill his support Thursday during a news conference. ...

The measure passed the House in two votes: the first approved a $2.10-per-hour minimum wage increase, bringing it up to $7.25, along with about $20 billion in domestic spending.

The second appropriated nearly $100 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The first vote was 348-73; the second was 280-142, with 140 of more than 230 Democrats in the House voting against the war spending portion.

Among those voting no was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who said the call for benchmarks -- which originated with Senate Republicans, and can be waived by the president -- a "fig leaf" that failed to effectively change the course of the war.

Posted by Forkum at May 24, 2007 03:42 PM