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Democrats Surrender on Iraq Financing

7:24 PM, May 22, 2007 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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It's been reported in several outlets that Congressional Democrats have determined that, at least for now, they can't force the president to withdraw from Iraq. They are preparing to send the president a 'clean' supplemental. According to CQ, the House will vote on legislation as early as Thursday:

The latest war spending bill is expected to come to the House floor Thursday, though Congress may need to work through the weekend to clear a bill for President Bush to sign by Memorial Day, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, D-Md., said today.

"We are hopeful that we are close to an agreement," he told reporters. "I think we have moved the debate very substantially forward and will continue to do so."

Congressional Democrats are expected to drop timelines for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq because of White House objections, but have not yet settled on a final plan for advancing a measure that could pass both chambers and be acceptable to Bush. The president vetoed the previous fiscal 2007 emergency war spending bill (HR 1591) on May 1.

Over on the left, Democrats are offering recriminations of the leaders who ultimately refused to pull the rug completely out from under the troops. Sadly, some of those recriminations are even coming from sitting Democratic senators. In some cases the attacks are against the conservative Democratic freshmen who delivered the party its first majority in years. Expect continued hostility toward Senators like Carl Levin and Jon Tester, who failed to toe the line.

In a session at the Heritage Foundation today, Congressman Tom Reynolds warned of rumors that House Democrats will split the Iraq funding legislation into two components--to preserve the possibility of causing mischief in conference.

The real question is why it has taken 106 days for Congressional Democrats to do what the president requested in the first place: pass clean legislation. The obsession with this one issue has occupied so much effort that Democrats have failed to sign any significant legislation into law since taking back the Congress.