Thursday, March 22, 2007

Status of Iraq Bills

The Senate Appropriations Committee approved the Iraq supplemental bill today, including language similar to the stand-alone provision they considered last week which requires a March 31st, 2008 withdrawal date for U.S. combat troops in Iraq, leaving behind only what is necessary for training and counterterrorism operations. The bill faces probable Republican blockage, but it may pick up more votes this time. Sen. Ben Nelson, who voted against the stand-alone legislation, has indicated he is inclined to vote for the supplemental.

Meanwhile, the House began debate today on their version of the supplemental. They probably won't vote on it until tomorrow, though it's not exactly certain how many votes Democrats have yet. The New Democrat Coalition has officially endorsed the bill, and while some conservative Dems have stated they won't vote for it, much of the opposition is coming from some of the staunchest liberals in the caucus who do not believe the bill goes far enough and are wary of voting in favor of war appropriations when they haven't in the past (MoveOn's endorsement helped though). Democratic leaders are pulling out all the stops in order to ensure passage, however.

Interestingly enough, a new report indicates that the Iraqi government has been holding secret negotiations with Sunni insurgent groups, but talks deadlocked over the lack of a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops. It seems that Democrats' claims that hope for imperative political reconciliation in Iraq are dependent on withdrawal of U.S. forces might have been vindicated...

UPDATE: Progressives Pledge Votes on Iraq

1 comment:

Xanthippas said...

What? But I thought leaving would embolden the enemy to fight, not make peace!

Right?