Their anti-war base doesn’t like it, but Democratic leaders faced political reality in dropping from the Iraq war-funding bill their demand for a timetable for removing troops. President Bush won’t accept a timetable. They don’t have enough votes to override him. And unless lawmakers are willing to withhold funding — which most are not — they needed a new approach. That new approach includes progress benchmarks for the Iraqi government and new reporting requirements for the Bush administration. Critics complain that the benchmarks aren’t enforceable. But the governmental and military results will be key to debate when this funding bill expires on Sept. 30. And if there isn’t much progress between now and then, Bush and GOP lawmakers will be hard-pressed to keep asking for more time.
Posted by Phillip Brownlee
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