Democrats Get the Message
The Democrats in Congress know Americans are frustrated with their failure to change Iraq policy and have devised a new strategy to try to convince voters to keep them in the majority. The plan includes weekly war votes to put the hawks on the defensive, along with more aggressive legislation that would set a binding withdrawal deadline, raise troop readiness standards and close Guantanamo.
The Senate intends to move to a defense policy bill on which Democrats will again try to attach binding troop-withdrawal timelines. The proposals under consideration would demand greater accountability from Bush and the Iraqi government, standards for troop readiness and a ban on permanent bases. Lawmakers are moving to restore the rights of terrorism suspects to challenge their detention in federal court, and to close the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
House leaders plan to introduce parallel legislation on Iraq, even though they avoided Iraq-related issues when they approved their annual defense policy bill earlier this month, saying they wanted to pass it quickly.
A measure to de-authorize the war is still a possibility, as well.
By mid-July, Democrats say, they will offer weekly votes to force Republicans, and the president, to defend the war. “Though we failed in a particular action” to limit the war through the Iraq spending bill, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) said, “we’re not stopping until a change in policy is effected.”WAIT, BEFORE YOU GO…
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