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Monday, May 21, 2007

Dems set war bill without Iraq timeline

[Updates below with reactions from the left]

If true and if it survives in both the House and the Senate then it is about time.

This comes from the Associated Press so take it with a grain of salt until we can confirm it through other sources.

WASHINGTON - In grudging concessions to President Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of billions of dollars in spending on domestic programs, officials said Monday.

The legislation would include the first federal minimum wage increase in more than a decade, a top priority for the Democrats who took control of Congress in January, the officials added.

While details remain subject to change, the measure is designed to close the books by Friday on a bruising veto fight between Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress over the war. It would provide funds for military operations in Iraq through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.

Democrats in both houses are expected to seek other opportunities later this year to challenge Bush's handling of the unpopular conflict.

Democratic officials stressed the legislation was subject to change. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss provisions before a planned presentation to members of the party's rank and file later in the day.

Democrats in Congress have insisted for months they would not give Bush a blank check for his war policies, and officials said the legislation is expected to include political and military goals for the Iraqi government to meet toward establishment of a more democratic society.

Failure to make progress toward the goals could cost the Iraqis some of the reconstruction aid the United States has promised, although it was not clear whether Democrats intended to give Bush power to order the aid to be spent regardless of progress.

Several officials said it was possible that Democrats would attempt to draft a second bill, to include much of the domestic spending that Bush and congressional Republicans have said they oppose.

Either way, Democratic leaders have said they hope to clear a war spending bill through both houses of Congress and send it to Bush's desk by week's end. They added the intention was to avoid a veto.

Bush vetoed one bill this spring after Democrats included a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, and Republicans in the House upheld his rejection of the measure.

The House then passed legislation to provide war funds in two 60-day installments. Bush threatened a veto, and the measure was sidetracked in the Senate in favor of a non-controversial bill that merely pledged to give the troops the resources they need.

That set the stage for the current House-Senate negotiations on a measure to send to Bush.

The Democrats' attempt to draft war funding legislation occurred after an inconclusive meeting on Friday involving White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress.

Democrats criticized the administration for rejecting calls for a troop withdrawal timetable even if Bush has the power to waive it.

For his part, Bolten criticized Democrats for persisting with an approach that had already sparked one veto. He noted the president had already said he was willing to consider legislation that included so-called benchmarks for the Iraqi government.

Both the House and Senate have approved legislation raising the minimum wage of $5.15 an hour to $7.25 an hour in three separate 70-cent increases over 26 months. The measures both included modest tax breaks, mainly aimed at helping businesses that hire low-skilled or handicapped workers.

White House officials have said Bush is amenable to accepting an increase in the minimum wage, although they and key GOP lawmakers favor larger tax cuts to accompany the measure.

Guess these polls scared them a bit when they realized that they were losing their own supporters by not funding our troops and that their highly touted "majority" actually wants us to succeed in Iraq and find it important.

Click image to enlarge for better reading.

All that wasted time and finally the morons are starting to see that America will not tolerate the betrayal of our troops that say they are succeeding, they are seeing success and they can win.

[Update] Reactions... the left is losing what little mind they have left if this is any example:

Jesus fucking Christ. Do we have to go through this AGAIN?


No. How many times dot he people have to tell Congress NO before they fucking listen? And is it any surprise that no one’s answering the phone at Pelosi’s DC office, and that Reid’s office puts you on hold for 20 minutes until you hang up because no one’s going to answer?


This bill constitutes nothing more nor less than an utter betrayal of the number one promise the Democrats made in 2006. “Grudging concessions” to Mr. 28% running the war that nobody likes? After you bent over and grabbed your ankles bent US over and demanded we grab OUR ankles for the “surge” that seems to be a lot larger, and lasting a lot longer, than originally advertised?

With all due respect, fuck you and the donkey you rode in on.

America is tried of the war and hates the President. Giving the President exactly what he wants is a good way to make us hate you too.

Fuck this bill, and fuck any Democrat who supports it.

Then we have Kos trying to salvage what is left of the Democratic party:

Update: This isn't the end of the fight, just so everyone is clear on that. This is funding for the remaining of the fiscal year, probably not beyond, again, September. There are still defense bills coming up to work on. What that means is building on the 29 votes we got in the Senate, and the 171 in the House for withdrawal. Keep the pressure on.

Headline from Talk Left "The Battle of the Iraq Supplemental Is Over: Bush Won"

More reactions from Captain's Quarters, Flopping Aces, Hot Air.

More to come, just keep your eye on memeorandum.