Are we there yet? Via AP:
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.
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.
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 partyâ€˜s rank and file later in the day.
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.
Either way, Democratic leaders have said they hope to clear a war spending bill through both houses of Congress and send it to Bushâ€˜s desk by weekâ€˜s end. They added the intention was to avoid a veto.
If their intentions were to avoid a veto, then why all the months-long carping about the timeline stipulation?
Ah, this is the reason …
Captain Ed urges caution:
I’d hold off celebrating for a couple of days, actually. This may well last only as long as the next news cycle. Expect to see a lot of “not me” in the headlines, as Democratic politicians insist that they will not support such a spending bill. It could develop enough momentum to stall the agreement.
Curt at Flopping Aces quotes a Washington insider as saying the Dems might be throwing this information out there to “get reactions from the base” – it’s possible, but I doubt it. They know full well what their base thinks of anything other than full and complete withdrawal from Iraq.