Reid Threatens War Money
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.