Senate Narrowly Votes To Keep A Timeline (For Now)
The Senate narrowly voted just now to keep Iraqi benchmarks and a March 2008 withdrawal date in the supplemental appropriations bill. Unfortunately, the bill is also likely to become the magnet for other nonmilitary-related items when it finally leaves the Congress and goes on to a certain presidential veto. The House bill calls for a later withdrawal timeline, and the GOP is starting to signal that they may accept a requirement for troops to leave without specifying a date certain for full withdrawal, in order to not signal to the “enemy” when we are leaving.
Arkansas Democrat Mark Pryor and Joe Lieberman voted with the Republicans to strike the withdrawal timeline from the bill, while GOP senators Chuck Hagel and Gordon Smith joined the Democrats to keep it in the bill. Democratic senator Tim Johnson did not vote, nor did GOP senator Mike Enzi.