House Democrats are beginning to coalesce around a $19 billion bill -- enough to fund the war for about 60 days -- without any withdrawal dates, according to aides. The measure would include additional funds for military health care; new standards for resting, training and equipping troops before deployment; and prohibitions on torture and permanent bases in Iraq. Benchmarks would be included, but with no punishments for failing to meet them.Congressional Democrats have the backing of the American public to end the war. They'd be in a better position now if they had taken the popular position from the start, held by the Working Families Party and many others, and used the power of the purse to limit the use of funds to protecting our troops' safety and bringing them home. Still, they're taking steps toward ending the war.
The idea would be to pass the measure quickly, as soon as early next week, to deprive Bush of the argument that Democrats are withholding needed funds from the troops. Then negotiations would begin immediately on yet another bill.
How do you think this plays out?