Negotiations for emergency war funds stalled as soon as they began yesterday, with both the White House and the Democrat-led Congress immediately rejecting the other’s modest concessions.
After emerging from an hourlong Capitol Hill meeting, President Bush’s chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, said the Democrats’ offer of waivable timelines for withdrawing troops from Iraq were unacceptable.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the White House’s proposal of policy benchmarks, backed up by the threat of cutting off aid to Iraq, was too weak.
The Democratic leaders, who say they will continue to push for an end to the war in Iraq, plan to draft a funding bill over the weekend and pass it by the end of next week, before Congress takes a weeklong Memorial Day break beginning May 28.
Today is Armed Forces Day, I hope everyone involved in these negotiations have our troops first and foremost on our minds. And not just “get them home ASAP” — which we all want to do: get them back home and to their sacrificing families as soon as make sense — but to make sure those who have made the ultimate sacrifice would be proud of how we saw it through.