WASHINGTON - The Senate this week will vote on cutting off funding for the Iraq war and on bringing troops home by next spring, but neither outcome will be the final say in the continuing standoff between Congress and the White House.
Majority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.) yesterday said those questions would be tacked on to unrelated water-resources legislation. The votes would allow debate on the issue without tying up a $124 billion Iraq funding bill Democrats hope to pass before the Memorial Day holiday.
One amendment, cosponsored by Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold (D., Wis.), would cut off funding for the war as of March 31, 2008. The other, offered by Sen. Carl Levin (D., Mich.), would mirror language President Bush has already vetoed, requiring U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq as of Oct. 1, with a goal of completing combat withdrawals by March 31; under certain circumstances, Bush could waive the dates.