Thursday, April 19, 2007
Congress Backs Down
Congressional Quarterly Today reports that the Democratic leadership in the House of Representatives is "preparing their rank and file for the likelihood that a final supplemental spending measure will contain the nonbinding Iraq withdrawal language favored by the Senate." While the House's appropriations bill contained language that attempted to force a complete withdrawal of US troops from Iraq by September 2008, the Senate's version of the bill only contained a non-binding target for withdrawal by March 2008. The bill would certainly have been vetoed by President Bush if it contained the binding deadline, but the House leadership appears to be unwilling to try to keep it in the final bill. Ultimately, while I have long been skeptical of the constitutionality of this attempt by the House to force the president's hand, it does show the wisdom of limiting the congressional role in foreign policy decision making and making it difficult for Congress to supersede the will of the president. Public opinion against the war may have bolstered the Democrat's in the November elections, but they're ultimately not willing to do what it takes to bring the boys home. Congressional spinelessness and unwillingness to appear soft on terror or unsupportive of the troops means that Congress will continue to snipe at the president's policies and the conduct of the war while avoiding all responsibility for the outcomes. A very unsurprising outcome.