Readers may be forgiven if they were unaware that Congress passed and today President Bush signed the latest war funding bill for Iraq. In the past, these bills were a contentious knock down drag out fight with Democrats trying to impose all kinds of conditions that would scuttle the mission and force withdrawal.
With good news continuing to flow out of Iraq (see highlights from the latest quarterly progress report here) Democrats must have realized that it wouldn't be good politics to trash what is now widely regarded as a successful Iraq strategy so close to the November election.
President George W. Bush delivers a brief statement Monday, June 30, 2008, at the White House after signing H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008. With him from left are: Deputy U.S. Secretary of State John Negroponte, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, U.S. Secretary of Veterans' Affairs James Peake and John Walters, Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The war supplemental spending package includes nearly $162 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, increased education benefits for veterans, and an additional 13 weeks of unemployment insurance benefits. White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.
President Bush Signs H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations ActSo much for Nancy Pelosi's vow upon taking control of Congress in 2006: "my highest priority, immediately, is to stop the war in Iraq.'' Will the anti-war left abandon Democrats who have utterly misled them in attempting to stop the war?
The White House
June 30, 2008
THE PRESIDENT: ...I appreciate that Republicans and Democrats in Congress agreed to provide these vital funds without tying the hands of our commanders, and without an artificial timetable of withdrawal from Iraq. Our troops have driven the terrorists and extremists from many strongholds in Iraq; today violence is at the lowest level since March of 2004. As a result of this progress, some of our troops are coming home as result of our policy called "return on success." We welcome them home. And with this legislation we send a clear message to all that are servings [sic] on the front line that our nation continues to support them.