Steny Hoyer and his Republican friends (PDF) may think that "benchmarks for the Iraqi government" is an acceptable "compromise" as they hand over to George Bush all the money he wants, but others don't.
"President Bush vetoed a bill that supports our troops and ends the war in Iraq that he declared won four years ago," said Edwards. "Congress needs to stand firm and strong. Congress should answer the president's veto by sending him another bill with a timetable for withdrawal. And if he vetoes that one, Congress should send him another and another until we end this war and bring our troops home."
I won't support a supplemental spending bill that doesn't have binding language to redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq. There's a lot of talk right now about Democrats getting the President to sign a bill that only has benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet. But we're long past the point when just setting benchmarks was enough. Even if funding for the Iraqi government is conditioned on it meeting those benchmarks, that misses the main point — which is that, whether or not the Iraqis meet their benchmarks, we need to get out of Iraq so that we can focus on the national security threats we face around the world. And if those benchmarks aren't binding, then they are nothing more than suggestions. The American people aren't asking us to offer suggestions to the Iraqis — they are asking us to bring our troops out of Iraq.
The next step to ending the war isn't to give in, but to step up the pressure on the President. I'm pleased to be working with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid on a bill to end our open-ended military commitment in Iraq. Now that the President has rejected the will of the American people with this veto, our bill, or some other proposal to end funding for a failed policy, should be the next step to end the war.
MoveOn is sponsoring a series of emergency veto rallies tonight. You can find one in your area here. And if you haven't contacted your represenentative yet, please do so. Let them know that David Broder's stamp of approval for Steny Hoyer's plan is not exactly what the American people have in mind.
The House is debating the override of the President's temper tantrum on CSPAN now. Use the comments thread for discussion.