It’s about time. Now let’s get down the business of funding our troops without cutting them off at the knees at the same time:
President Bush and congressional leaders began negotiating a second war funding bill yesterday, with Democrats offering the first major concession: an agreement to drop their demand for a timeline to bring troops home from Iraq.
Democrats backed off after the House failed, on a vote of 222 to 203, to override the president’s veto of a $124 billion measure that would have required U.S. forces to begin withdrawing as early as July. But party leaders made it clear that the next bill will have to include language that influences war policy. Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) outlined a second measure that would step up Iraqi accountability, “transition” the U.S. military role and show “a reasonable way to end this war.”
“We made our position clear. He made his position clear. Now it is time for us to try to work together,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) said after a White House meeting. “But make no mistake: Democrats are committed to ending this war.”
Bush said he is “confident that we can reach agreement,” and he assigned three top aides to negotiate. White House Chief of Staff Joshua B. Bolten, national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley and budget director Rob Portman will go to Capitol Hill today to sit down with leaders of both parties.
Our troops deserve to be supported 100%, which means funding for everything they need to do their jobs. The Democrats swear up one side and down the other that they care for and support our troops in Iraq; their actions, however, demonstrate the opposite.