Senate Republicans Pass Iraq Buck To Bush
by Chris Bowers, Mon Mar 26, 2007 at 05:11:01 PM EDT
Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday he won't block Senate passage of an Iraq war spending bill even if the GOP fails to kill its troop withdrawal deadline because he knows President Bush will veto it.Does anyone else find it suspicious that Republicans won't try to filibuster this bill, even though they filibustered other bills Bush promised to veto, such as the original version of the minimum wage increase? Couldn't McConnell have done exactly the same thing over the original version of the minimum wage bill, allow it to pass the Senate and then have bushy veto it, that he is doing here? Why protect Bush from the earlier veto, but force him into this veto? The only conclusion I can draw is that on the minimum wage, Senate Republicans wanted to take credit for the tax cuts they eventually forced into the minimum wage bill, but on Iraq they are tired of taking credit for Bush's war. After all, while the American people like minimum wage increases and at least like the sound of tax cuts, they also hate Bush and hate the Iraq war. Of course they would want to take credit for the minimum wage bill, while forcing Bush to take credit for the war.
Facing a cliffhanging vote this week, McConnell promised to fight the provision, which calls for -- but does not require -- combat troops to be brought home within a year. Even if he fails, McConnell said he won't stand in the way of the bill's final passage because the sooner it is sent to the president, the sooner Bush can veto it.
It will be crucial for Democrats to not allow Congressional Republicans to get away with this. We need to hammer the point home that virtually every Congressional Republican is still voting with Bush, and that they probably won't join Democrats in overturning Bush's veto. It will be just as important to make sure that Democrats hold fast on the supplemental. Public opinion is overwhelmingly behind them on the supplemental, and the only way they should be changing the supplemental is to make it stronger, not weaker. Either Bush gets funding through a bill that that requires the war to end in eighteen months, or he gets nothing at all and the war ends even sooner than that.