Bush vetoed a recent Iraq war spending bill because it would have forced the administration to begin withdrawing troops in the next few months. The veto was sustained. House Democratic leaders are now putting together a proposal that would pay for the war through September but come with a different set of conditions: About half of the money would be dependent on Bush reporting to Congress this summer on the Iraqi government's progress toward meeting security goals.
Following that report, Congress would have to vote separately to release the rest of the funds.
If the President is going to veto over that then we really are entering into some kind of wonderland. I don't think he can hold his caucus together on this veto. I'm not saying the GOP would override his veto, but there will be a lot more defections.
Bush and other authoritarian cultists claimed that the first bill was full of "pork." It has now been repackaged in a separate bill:
Mr. Obey said that measure would provide money for farmers in disaster areas and struggling salmon fishermen along the Pacific Coast, and he practically dared Mr. Bush to object to aid that will be popular in parts of rural America.
“I think it is going to be very hard for the president to explain why he has declared counties disaster areas and why he doesn’t support legislative action to keep those farmers from being driven off the farm and out of business,” Mr. Obey said.
The new legislative approach is being taken as a retired Army general is criticizing the administration’s war policy in advertisements that focus on more than a dozen Republican members of Congress. The retired general, John Batiste, the commander of the First Infantry Division from August 2002 to June 2005, appears in a television commercial to go on the air Wednesday under the sponsorship of Votevets.org, a group of veterans opposing the war.
The ad opens with video of the president vowing to listen to his commanders.
“You did not listen, Mr. President,” General Batiste says in the advertisement. “You continue to pursue the failed strategy that is breaking our great Army and Marine Corps.”
The ad (above) will run in the back yards of vulnerable Republicans:
Our ads are airing in states and districts of those Members of Congress who are very close to breaking with the President on Iraq, and joining the troops and American people. They are: Senators Susan Collins, John Sununu, John Warner, and Norm Coleman, and Representatives Mary Bono, Phil English, Randy Kuhl, Jim Walsh, Heather Wilson, Jo Ann Emerson, Tim Johnson, Mike Rogers, Fred Upton, and Mike Castle. Mentioning them by name at the end, the local spots will call on them to "Protect America, Not George Bush."
Hardball. We like.