Democrats Back Down on (non-binding) Timetable
Yet, the article goes on to insist that Democrats want to insist that the supplemental spending bill still include "benchmarks" and other language that "influences war policy".
House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (Md.) indicated that the next bill will include benchmarks for Iraq -- such as passing a law to share oil revenue, quelling religious violence and disarming sectarian militias -- to keep its government on course. Failure to meet benchmarks could cost Baghdad billions of dollars in nonmilitary aid, and the administration would be required to report to Congress every 30 days on the military and political situation in Iraq.
Anyone who thinks that any of these so-called "benchmarks" can be enforced, please raise your hands.
Does anyone think the President would allow, or this Congress would agree to cut-off financial aid of any kind, let alone non-military aid to Iraq in the event that violence in the capital and throughout the country continues to escalate, just because Iraq didn't come through on some "benchmarks", which the president would most likely ignore or disallow through a signing statement (yeah, remember those?)?
If I was an optimistic sort, I might think about how the president's veto actually represents an opportunity of sorts to skuddle the whole supplemental war funding bill. It would, that is, if enough Democrats who weren't particularly thrilled with the continued funding request to begin with, decide that the lack of a timetable, however symbolic and meaningless it ever was, is an invitation to oppose the process and intent of a permanent war and eternal occupation of a Middle Eastern country.