Senate Democrats pulled a rabbit out of their hate yesterday, passing the War Funding Bill by the slimmest of margins, 50-48. Though the bill still has to pass a final vote before going to the President for his eventual veto, it marks a clear sign that their is a pulse inside the other branches of government. Seriously.
According to the Washington Post, the bill maintained language to determine a timetable pullout of March 31, 2008. The pullout provision, which neither President Bush nor Tom Brady seem capable of doing, is tied directly to the $122 billion dollar funding for troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In other words if Bush vetos the bill it looks like he doesn’t want to pullout or he doesn’t support the troops. I’d still give Karl Rove the upper hand in shaping which one, but kudos to Democrats for finally drawing a line in the sand. And kudos to Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE) for crossing the aisle and doing the right thing.
Speaking to reporters, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) was conciliatory, but only to a point: “We ought to reach out to the president and say, ‘Mr. President, this is not a unilateral government. It is a separation of powers, and the Congress of the United States . . . has taken some action. You obviously disagree with that. Where are the areas of compromise?’ ”
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) said he was skeptical about proceeding too quickly. “Of course, we should reach out to the White House, and I’m happy to do that,” he said. But, he added: “They have been very uncooperative to this point. Hopefully, they will cooperate with us.” Referring to the president, he said, “I would like to have a bill that he wouldn’t veto.”
Some republicans are convinced the Democrats will eventually cave and give the President exactly what he wants. If they do that then they are merely stabbing all the voters from the last election in the back. Remember those voters who sent a signal that they didn’t approve of the direction of this administration? Yeah, those voters. If the blinders haven’t come off yet, they certainly should. President Bush and his cronies are going down with the Titanic, since after all they created the iceberg and then blamed it on other people.
Under the Senate bill, which is slated for a vote on final passage as early as today, certain U.S. troops would remain in Iraq after the March 31, 2008, target date in order to conduct counterterrorism training and security operations. But troop withdrawals would begin within four months of enactment.
The White House has strongly protested both the House and Senate bills, issuing a series of veto threats. “This bill assumes and forces the failure of the new strategy even before American commanders in the field are able to fully implement their plans,” the administration said in a statement yesterday, referring to the Senate measure.
They just don’t get it do they? Their entire strategy has failed from the beginning and the only ones who are paying for it are 3,240 soldiers with their lives and another 25,000 or so with severe injuries. More than anything though we hope this gets our government talking about how best to proceed in Iraq. Maybe a pullout isn’t the best strategy, I dunno. I just know something has to change. Maybe this will be the catalyst.