Sunday, April 1, 2007
What A Difference A Year Makes
Did you catch these three headlines?
Kind of hard not to notice them, given that the standoff between Congress and the White House over the Iraq War funding bill has been all over the news. The only thing is, these headlines are all about the Iraq War funding bill... from 2006. Here's a good quote from an April 25 WaPo article that described the bill hitting the Senate floor:
The measure is expected to eventually pass with ease, but not before the Senate takes ample time to discuss Iraq policy, gasoline prices and lawmakers' appetites for homestate projects.
And in fact, that's just what it did, so much so that the President threatened a veto, and a June 7 WaPo article titled "Deal Elusive On Iraq, Hurricane Aid Bill" included the following paragraph:
A Pentagon money crunch is worsening almost daily, but there won't be a crisis if Congress fails to clear the legislation by the end of the week.
An agreement was eventually reached the following day, almost four months after the President's initial appropriations request. So why didn't the President claim that Congress was playing politics with the safety of the troops, as he's done this year? And why didn't the Pentagon brass roll out a media campaign about the impact on troop readiness, as they've done this year? And why hasn't anyone referred to this in the coverage of the current showdown?
Update: UPI is reporting that according to the Congressional Research Service, there is absolutely no funding shortage for the war effort:
In a careful review of U.S. Army data and the Defense Department's existing legal authorities, non-partisan budget experts at CRS informed Congress the Army could maintain its wartime operations well into July 2007 with funds already provided.
Remember, the President's first response to the House's bill was to call it "political theater."