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!

Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi Photo Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Democrats won’t approve more money for the Iraq war this year unless President Bush agrees to begin bringing troops home.

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?

FILED UNDER: Congress, Iraq War, , , , , , , , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. yetanotherjohn says:

    It is hard to argue that there has been improvement in Iraq. That is a long way from total victory, but the recent trend is definitely better.

    So this really makes you wonder how well the democrats have thought this through. If they are successful and the war turns sour, then the republicans get to pin the loss on the democrats. If they aren’t successful, then the public gets reminded that the democrats strategy is not to win the war.

    I actually think that they have been very Clintonesque in choosing their words. There are about 10 legislative days left this year. The calendar, not democratic resolve, is likely to make this come about with their current actions. But I bet they pass the funding early in January without a time table. Meanwhile, the GOP gets to push the holiday message that while the democrats are nestled safely in their beds dreaming of sugar plums, they have left the troops swinging in the wind by not funding them.

  2. anjin-san says:

    Virtually everyone agrees that the mission there is vital

    …Well except for Bush, who pretty much forgot about it.

  3. Dave Schuler says:

    Unlike Iraq, it’s a multilateral mission under NATO auspices

    Not quite true, James. Take a look at UNSC Resolution 1723. The MNF has had UNSC approval since 2005 IIRC.

  4. dpari says:

    Harry Reid is every bit as pathetic as Nancy Pelosi and should be returned to Searchlight, Nevada where he is from or dropped from a C-130 Transport without a parachute over IRAQ.

  5. Christopher says:

    anjin: why don’t you go back to whatever country you came from? or go to North Korea where I am sure they would welcome traitors to the US like you.

  6. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    A simple web search will reveal what leading Democrats said about Saddam and WMD prior to the invasion of Iraq. To state the authorization to use force was not well supported by the Democrats is simply a lie. Idiots like anjin make false statements as a general rule not the exception. The Bush administration had a leader in place in Afghanistan prior to the invasion of Iraq. Major ground operations had ceased. If you are going to try to rewrite history. At least wait until those who are now alive forget.

  7. Richard Gardner says:

    Was that picture staged? It looks “American Gothic.” Though in this case they look like a couple of corpses. (and the folks in the choir look even deader.)

  8. markm says:

    “So this really makes you wonder how well the democrats have thought this through.”

    The way I see it is that Harry and whatshernutz are reaching for redemption on this. They come out and say “No funds unless troops are brought home” and there was a story yesterday about a brigade in Southern Iraq that was pre-determined to return to their base in Texas. The guys return and Harry and the gang can show the party base “see, we told you we’d get them home”

    Another thing: “Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said Tuesday that Democrats won’t approve more money for the Iraq war this year”

    Not much time left in this year. Pretty vague and it leaves them an out.

  9. Dave Schuler says:

    markm is probably reading the tealeaves on the political endgame here correctly. Both sides are starting to grab for figleaves.

  10. anjin-san says:

    Being pissed that Bush did not bring Bin Laden to justice for the murder of 3000 Americans is treason? Hmmmmmmmmmm

  11. floyd says:

    Check it out! The guy in the middle back row sure looks like he’d rather be somewhere else!Who wouldn’t be embarrassed to be caught with this crowd??

  12. floyd says:


  13. G.A.Phillips says:

    Five stupid liberals.