Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Congress Acting On Iraq

There are is moving from Republicans coming out against President Bush's surge plan. House Minority Leader John Boehner want to create a bipartisan panel to set benchmarks for Iraq.

"It's substantive, it's not one of these nonbinding resolutions," Boehner said.

Translation: the panel will create legally binding legislation. Bush will likely commit political suicide by vetoing bipartisan bills.

Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sounded alarmist on the Neil Cavuto's show.

"This needs to be successful over the next six to nine months," McConnell said. "And if not, we're going to have to go in a different direction."

Even surge supporter John McCain is drafting a resolution to set benchmarks.

Barack Obama made the biggest news with a detailed plan to withdraw troops. Redeployment will have to start by May 1, 2007. All combat brigades will have to be out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. A limited amount of troops may stay for training, security and counter terrorism.

Obama has set several benchmarks. The Iraqis must share oil revenue, provincial elections, proper government services a constitutional amendment for national reconciliation. The Iraqi govenment must spend at least $10 10 billion for reconstruction and rebuilding the economy. I doubt the Nouri al-Maliki government can achieve these objectives.

What Obama's resolution does is binds Bush into not committing more troops to Iraq. Bush may have Congress approve additional troops. The resolution would not cut off funding for current operations.

Bush will do a few things. He will outright veto the Obama legislation or approve it and then issue several signing orders that he can ignore any part of the language he damn well pleases. It's not constitutionally legal, but he's the Decider. Bush looks at the law as a minor nuisance.

Update: Senators Carl Levin and John Warner reached an agreement on the nonbinding resolution against sending more troops.


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