Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell announced today that the GOP will not move to block the Senate version of the Iraq supplemental funding bill which will include a March 2008 deadline for removing combat troops in Iraq. They believe the sooner it passes, the sooner Bush can veto it. However, Rep. Jack Murtha has said he believes Bush will be harder pressed to veto troop funding than he says, as the situation really comes down to who caves first.
The Senate will likely vote on the bill Tuesday. If and when the bill passes, it will go to conference committee to work out differences between the House and Senate bills. Negotiations are going to be tough, but House leaders have said they will insist on the withdrawal provision being included in whatever is sent to Bush's desk.
A newly released poll by The Pew Research Center for the People and the Press found that six in ten Americans were in favor of the House bill that would require withdrawal of US forces from Iraq by August 2008. Only 36 percent of those polled thought Bush's plan to surge more troops into the conflict would work. As for that "surge," Salon is reporting that the Army is deploying seriously injured troops in order to pump up manpower. Who supports the troops again?