Reid and Pelosi Threaten Iraq $ Cutoff. Again.
Harry Reid is threatening to cut off funds if President Bush doesn’t start bringing the troops home from Iraq. And this time he means it!
By the end of the week, the House and Senate planned to vote on a $50 billion measure for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would require Bush to initiate troop withdrawals immediately with the goal of ending combat by December 2008.
If Bush vetoes the bill, “then the president won’t get his $50 billion,” Reid, D-Nev., told reporters at a Capitol Hill news conference.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., made a similar statement last week in a closed-door caucus meeting.
The tough rhetoric does not necessarily foretell another veto showdown with Bush on the war. Similar legislation has routinely fallen short of the 60 votes needed to overcome procedural hurdles in the Senate. It is possible the upcoming bill will sink, in which case Democrats would probably wait until next year to revisit the issue.
But their remarks reflect an emerging Democratic strategy on the war: Force congressional Republicans and Bush to accept a timetable for troop withdrawals, or turn Pentagon accounting processes into a bureaucratic nightmare.
Raise your hands if you think Reid and Pelosi will actually follow through on this.
The bottom line is that none of the top-tier presidential candidates in either party are running on a platform of rapid, immediate withdrawal from Iraq. Absent some sort of miracle peace settlement, we’ll be engaging in combat in Iraq well into 2009.
Whatever the politics of these stunts vis-a-vis Iraq, they’re simply asinine in the case of Afghanistan. Virtually everyone agrees that the mission there is vital. Unlike Iraq, support for going in was overwhelming on a bipartisan basis. Unlike Iraq, it’s a multilateral mission under NATO auspices, with the brunt of the casualties being taken by our allies. Reid seriously wants to undercut that to make political hay?