Today the Senate is scheduled to resume consideration of H.R. 1591, the Supplemental Appropriations bill. There’s a summary of the bill here. If the Senate gets around to voting today I will post about it asap.
By now you’ve heard that the Senate rejected an amendment “To strike language that would tie the hands of the Commander-in-Chief by imposing an arbitrary timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq, thereby undermining the position of American Armed Forces and jeopardizing the successful conclusion of Operation Iraqi Freedom.” The vote was 48 yes, 50 no. The vote split along party lines. One Dem — Pryor (D-AR) — and Joe Lieberman (whatever-CT) voted yes with the Republicans (Lieberman was a co-sponsor of the amendment). Two Republicans — Smith (R-OR) and Hagel (R-NE) — voted no with the Dems. The complete vote record is here.
The defection of a prominent Republican war critic, Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, sealed the Democrats’ win. Hagel, who opposed identical withdrawal language two weeks ago, walked onto the Senate floor an hour before the late-afternoon vote and announced that he would “not support sustaining a flawed and failing policy,” adding: “It’s now time for the Congress to step forward and establish responsible boundaries and conditions for our continued military involvement in Iraq.”
I don’t know how likely it is that the bill will pass as is. But if Congress does send a bill to the White House with conditions attached, expect to see the Olympics of Spinning in Washington. Who would get the blame if George Bush vetoes the bill and money for the Iraq War effort runs short? Seems to me the public might well blame Bush.
Elsewhere in Washington — Yesterday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales cut and ran from a press conference when reporters asked him questions about the U.S. Attorney scandal. But never fear; you can find a video of the AG contradicting himself at Crooks and Liars.
D. Kyle Sampson is scheduled to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee tomorrow; should be fun.
Today Henry Waxman’s House committee on Oversight and Government Reform will be hearing testimony from Lurita Alexis Doan, who is accused of using her position as chief of the General Services Administration for partisan political purposes.
Update: See David Sirota, “The threat of a ‘clean’ Iraq supplemental still loom large.”