Monday, June 04, 2007

Democrats Plan Legislative Offensive On Iraq Policy Over Summer

As a new internal report states that U.S. and Iraqi forces control less than one-third of Baghdad and and Retired Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez (who commanded U.S. forces during the first year of the Iraq war) says the war is "lost," Democrats are planning a summer of repeated Iraq-related votes designed to force Republican lawmakers to abandon the White House before the fall:

Senate Democratic leaders are planning to consider new withdrawal proposals in just a few weeks, when the chamber begins debating the 2008 defense authorization bill, which outlines military spending priorities for the fiscal year beginning in October.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) said he planned to propose an amendment that would require the president to begin withdrawing U.S. forces within 120 days of the bill's enactment.

And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who has become one of the most ardent champions of bringing U.S. forces home, may revive a proposal by Sen. Russell D. Feingold (D-Wis.) to end funding for the war.

In the House, Pelosi has signaled her interest in considering legislation in the coming weeks to repeal the authorization for the war that Congress passed in 2002 — a potentially powerful repudiation of the administration's war strategy...

"By next month — when Bush is required under the most recent war funding bill to give Congress a report on the Iraqi government's progress on a series of political benchmarks — the House will probably be considering the 2008 defense appropriations bill. That could provide another vehicle for Democratic amendments calling for a withdrawal.

Senate consideration of that bill would follow.

By August, the Senate also may consider its own legislation to revoke authorization of the war, which is being championed by presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), among others.
Good. Democrats need to keep the pressure on instead of just waiting until September, when Republicans may or may not keep siding with Bush.

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