Saturday, May 26, 2007

Congress passes benchmark bill

"Congress sent President Bush a new Iraq funding bill yesterday that lacked troop withdrawal deadlines demanded by liberal Democrats, but party leaders vowed it was only a temporary setback in their efforts to bring home American troops.
War opponents dismissed the bill as a capitulation to Bush and said they would seek to hold supporters in both parties accountable. But backers said the bill's provisions -- including benchmarks for progress that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid -- represented an assertion of congressional authority over the war that was unthinkable a few months ago.
Bush, who had vowed to veto any legislation with restrictions on troop deployments, announced he would sign the $120 billion package.
. . . The focus now shifts to September, when the new funding runs out, and when U.S. commanders say they will be able to assess the results of an ongoing troop buildup.
. . . 'We are moving backward,' said Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), a war opponent. 'Instead of forcing the president to safely redeploy our troops, instead of coming up with a strategy providing assistance to a post-redeployment Iraq, and instead of a renewed focus on the global fight against al-Qaeda, we are faced with a spending bill that kicks the can down the road and buys the administration time.' "

Murray, Shailagh. (The Washington Post). Congress Passes Deadline-Free War Funding Bill. May 25, 2007.

posted: saturday, may 26, 2007, 11:17 AM ET


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