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Democrats Still Insisting On Surrender Timetable

From the rapidly downsizing San Francisco Chronicle:

Talks on funding the war quickly break down

Dems likely to send Bush another bill that he’ll veto

Edward Epstein, Chronicle Washington Bureau

Saturday, May 19, 2007

(05-19) 04:00 PDT Washington — President Bush had better prepare his veto pen because Friday’s breakdown in White House-congressional talks over an Iraq spending bill means he’ll probably get another bill with some restrictions on his war policy.

High-level negotiators from the Democrat-led Congress and the Bush administration were all smiles when they started meeting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol conference room Friday morning, their optimism perhaps fueled by recent agreements with Bush on free-trade legislation and an immigration package.

But after the closed-door meeting ended more than an hour later, they were grim, said they were sorely disappointed and pointed fingers at the other side…

First, Democratic leaders offered to drop billions of dollars in domestic spending from the emergency money bill — for items such as farm drought relief and medical coverage for poor children — that Bush and congressional Republicans have attacked as pork barrel spending inconsistent with war spending.

Then they offered to give Bush the right to waive any timetable in the bill.

But White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten rejected the offer, which disappointed California’s Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

It is clear that the difference between the Democrats and the president is the issue of accountability. He will not accept any accountability or responsibility for what is happening” in Iraq, Pelosi told reporters who crowded into the conference room after the negotiations broke up.

She said Congress intends to send Bush another bill providing about $90 billion to fund the war through the end of the fiscal year Sept. 30. But she stressed that the new bill, which Democrats will draft without administration input, will still try to change course in Iraq as demanded by the majority of Democrats in the House and Senate.

Pelosi said the bill will come to the floors of the House and Senate before lawmakers leave town Thursday for a one-week Memorial Day break.

Bolten said Democrats made a deal with the president impossible by insisting on a timetable for a troop withdrawal.

“Whether waiveable or not, timelines send exactly the wrong signal to our adversaries, to our allies and, most importantly, to the troops in the field,” Bolten said.

“Our colleagues across the aisle continue to insist on having surrender dates in the supplemental spending bill,” said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the House minority leader. “We continue to believe that the generals on the ground ought to be making decisions about how best to wage the war in Iraq and not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.” …

Gee, what a surprise. 

We continue to believe that the generals on the ground ought to be making decisions about how best to wage the war in Iraq and not Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

But the generals don’t have a “mandate.”

This article was posted by Steve on Saturday, May 19th, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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