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Dems Throw in the Towel, Fund the War

May 24, 2007 - by Donny Shaw

Ending a three-month-long standoff with the President, Congress on Thursday officially approved $95 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with no strings attached.

Congress had already approved the funds once before, but with a timeline for troop withdrawal attached. That offer was vetoed by the President. This time they are providing the funds free of any timeline or other restrictions and the President, of course, will accept the offer.

The AP:

>Bowing to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled Congress grudgingly approved fresh billions for the Iraq war Thursday night, minus the troop withdrawal timeline that drew his earlier veto.
>"The Iraqi government needs to show real progress in return for America’s continued support and sacrifice," said the commander in chief, and he warned that August could prove to be a bloody month for U.S. troops in Baghdad’s murderous neighborhoods.
>The Senate’s 80-14 vote to send the legislation to the president came less than two hours after the House gave its approval on a margin of 280-142. In both cases, Republicans supplied the bulk of the support, an oddity in an era of Democratic control.

Coincidentally, the Democratic-controlled Congress conceded in the battle over the war on the same day that a new poll was released, indicating that Americans view the Iraq war more negatively that any time since it began in 2003:

>Americans now view the war in Iraq more negatively than at any time since the invasion more than four years ago, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.
>Sixty-one percent of Americans say the United States should have stayed out of Iraq and 76 percent say things are going badly there, including 47 percent who say things are going very badly, the poll found.
>While troops are still in Iraq, Americans overwhelming support continuing to finance the war, though most want to do so with conditions. Thirteen percent want Congress to block all money for the war.
>Sixty-nine percent, including 62 percent of Republicans, say Congress should allow financing, but on the condition that the United States sets benchmarks for progress and the Iraqi government meets those goals. Fifteen percent of all respondents want Congress to allow all financing for the war, no matter what.

That last demographic, the fifteen percent who “want Congress to allow all financing for the war, no matter what,” will be glad to know that Congress has done exactly that. The bill they approved on Thursday includes benchmarks for the Iraqi government, but allows the President to use the money to continue the war whether or not the goals are met

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