After months of posturing and posing, Senate Democrats bow to President Bush yet again and approve the money they have withheld for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Manu Raju reports for The Hill:
The Senate on Tuesday night handed President Bush a critical victory in the Iraq debate, approving billions of dollars for war operations and backing down from a months-long threat of withholding funding until the White House commits to a drawdown of troops.
After falling short on two attempts to force a change in war tactics, 21 Democrats joined one independent and 48 Republicans to approve $70 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will be packaged with a sprawling $516 billion omnibus spending bill that would fund most federal agencies. Sen. Gordon Smith, who faces a tough reelection race in 2008 in Oregon, was the only Republican to vote against the war-funding plan.
The Senate later approved the massive spending bill by a 76-17 vote, moving one step closer to finishing its work for the year and ending the yearlong budget standoff between the White House and Congress.
The 70-25 vote on the war funding measure caps a year of unsuccessful Democratic attempts to sufficiently chip away at solid GOP support for the war. Ultimately, Democratic leaders declined to levy pressure on their caucus to block the latest round of unfettered Iraq money.
Read the rest at the link above. I remember Harry Reid flatly declaring the President would not get the money for the wars without conditions. But then, he also declared the Iraq War “lost” in the spring, and claimed al Qaeda in Iraq was strong only the other day. And they think Senator Byrd is losing it? . . .