Iraq supplemental: Pelosi's Catch-22
by skeptic06, Fri Mar 02, 2007 at 03:37:42 AM EST
Dogs to the right of her, Progs to the left of her...
According to the CSMtoday, the Lioness is beseiged in her den on the Iraq supplemental bill:
On the one hand, the 44-member Blue Dog Coalition, which is made up of fiscal conservatives, opposes moves that would either deprive US troops of funding they need or appear to micromanage the war.
"There's a growing consensus for setting standards for our troops to be well trained, well equipped, and well rested, but to also give the president waivers," in case such guidelines cannot be met, says Rep. Chet Edwards (D) of Texas, who chairs the subcommittee on military quality of life and veterans' affairs.
Such waivers would require Bush to "take responsibility for troops not being well trained," and would make any lapses in training or equipment more visible to the public. But the waiver policy still allows Bush to send reinforcements to "bring home a battalion that's worn out. Without such flexibility, it would be micromanaging," he adds.
On the other hand, the 71-member Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), the largest group of Democrats in the House, is calling for a "fully funded" withdrawal of US forces from Iraq within six months.
"I'm telling them point blank that the only money I'll support is fully supporting the withdrawal of every last soldier and contractor in Iraq," says Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D) of California, who chairs the CPC. "There's going to be a respectable showing of members against the [defense] supplemental [spending bill], unless it is clearly to support our troops, while bringing them home."
The awful prospect arises that Nancy will be able to have the votes of either the Dogs or the Progs - but not both.
It only requires the GOP to find some pretext for opposing the bill - and we get crash defunding on October 1!
Stepping away from the Kossack druthers - interesting to see the Progs trying to make some of the running on Iraq.
Hard to see what the compromise is that will get both Dogs and Progs on board with the same text.
But - Nancy did want to be Speaker, didn't she!
Update [2007-3-2 10:8:46 by skeptic06]:
AP around 0100 ET had a story flatly contradicting the tale that the leadership was plan-less:
House Democratic leaders have coalesced around legislation that would require troops to come home from Iraq within six months if that country's leaders fail to meet promises to help reduce violence there, party officials said Thursday.
The plan would retain a Democratic proposal prohibiting the deployment to Iraq of troops with insufficient rest or training or who already have served there for more than a year. Under the plan, such troops could only be sent to Iraq if President Bush waives those standards and reports to Congress each time.
How do we know that's the plan: because we've had it from the horse's mouth:
The proposal is the latest attempt by Democrats to resolve deep divisions within the party on how far to go to scale back U.S. involvement in Iraq. Rep. James Moran said the latest version has the support of party leadership and said he believes it is final and has the best chance at attracting broad support.
Or from some part of the horse's anatomy, at least...
Caveat lector: Moran may ever so slightly be jumping the gun:
Brendan Daly, a spokesman for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., declined to confirm the details and or say whether Pelosi backs the plan. But he said: "We have said we want to make sure our troops have all the training and equipment they need and that the Iraqi government must meet the benchmarks President Bush endorsed."
And we conclude what?
AP is suffering an unfortunate combined attack of onanism and prematurity.
(Secondary question: why would AP put out a story leding House leaders have coalesced when the spokesman for the head honcho (honcha?) is basically denying any coalescence has happened?
Update [2007-3-2 20:49:50 by skeptic06]:
Boehner can't believe his luck, I'm sure. Apparently, he's threatened to oppose the supplemental bill.