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Another GOP leader says Bush’s time is running out

By
May 8, 2007

  On patrol in Iraq (AP)

The second-ranking Republican in the U.S. Senate said on Monday there must be "significant changes" in Iraq well before the end of the year, signaling President George W. Bush could face new challenges on war policy from members of his own party.

Sen. Trent Lott of Mississippi, who holds the No. 2 leadership position in his party, made his comments a day after similar remarks by another powerful Republican lawmaker, House Leader John Boehner of Ohio.

"I do think this fall we’ve got to see some significant changes in the situation on the ground, in Baghdad and other surrounding areas … or else," Lott told reporters.

Lott would not elaborate on possible consequences.

Boehner also discussed the need for progress in an appearance on the "Fox News Sunday" television program.

"By the time we get to September, October, (Republican) members are going to want to know how well this is working and if it isn’t, what’s Plan B," he said.

"Yes, generally I agree with him," Lott said of Boehner on Monday.

Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, is expected to deliver a progress report in September.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, jumped on Boehner’s remarks, saying in a Senate speech: "We’re pleased to see House Republican leaders adopt our view this commitment in Iraq must not be open-ended."

Reid said it was "somewhat disturbing" that "the Republican leader is willing to allow the troops to stay in Iraq with a failing strategy until he and his colleagues decide it is time to part with the president."

WAR BUDGET BATTLE

Last week, Bush vetoed Democrats’ war-funding bill because it contained deadlines for beginning a withdrawal of U.S. troops. Republicans, who almost unanimously voted against the withdrawal plan, accused Democrats of providing the enemies in Iraq with deadlines for a U.S. surrender.

With Bush’s approval rating at an all-time low of 28 percent, according to a Newsweek magazine poll released on Saturday, Democrats are promising to keep the pressure on Republicans to support winding down the 4-year-old war.

Negotiations on a new $100 billion war-funding measure were continuing. Democrats hope to present Bush with a bill by the end of May.

Some House Democrats are pushing a plan that would immediately provide about half of the new combat funds Bush requested. The remainder would be released within a few months, but only after Congress voted to do so.

That idea has received a cool reception in the Senate, where many Democrats and Republicans want to provide enough war money for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends September 30.

"I think that’s a uniquely bad idea. There are only a few more months left of this fiscal year anyway," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, said in a conference call with reporters.

With time so limited, there was no reason to take the funding bill and "chop it up into bits," he said.

Congress will soon begin considering next fiscal year’s military spending bill, which anti-war Democrats also are targeting for troop withdrawal language.

One idea that could unite Democrats, who control Congress, and minority-party Republicans, is placing "benchmarks" into this year’s war-funding bill that would measure progress in Iraq toward stabilizing and securing the country.

But there does not appear to be agreement over whether to include consequences if progress is not being made.

12 Responses to Another GOP leader says Bush’s time is running out

  1. KayInMaine

    May 8, 2007 at 7:23 am

    …if these right wingers had said what we liberals said, “But we’ve tried surging the troops a few times and each time it didn’t work! It just ends up with more dead people!”. The right wingers want George Bush’s time in office to run out and they want future presidents to handle his mess. Why? Because they all refuse to budge on their positions to save their egos. Tired of it.

    http://www.whitenoiseinsanity.wordpress.com

  2. Steve Horn

    May 8, 2007 at 8:01 am

    “But there does not appear to be agreement over whether to include consequences if progress is not being made.”

    If there are no consequences then the benchmark is meaningless.

    “no dinner until your homework is done” or “you’re home by 9:30 or you’re grounded for a week” are meaningful to a child, they let the child know that if they fail to complete their work or adhere to your rules, there are consequences.

    “do your homework or” or “you’re home by 9:30 or” are NOT meaningful – as there is no apparent consequence for disobeying the parent.

    In like fashion, a benchmark for the Iraqi government with no consequence has no meaning.

    Our government is more than happy to admonish us, the citizens and let us know there are consequences for our inactions (“pay your taxes or we sell your shit and you go to jail”, for example) – why are they not inclined to do the same for/to the Iraqi government?

    Peace

    Steve

  3. LurkingFromTheLeft

    May 8, 2007 at 8:44 am

    …Gov. Kathleen Sebelius said the government’s response to the disaster had been undermined by National Guard deployments to the Middle East.

    …“I don’t think there is any question if you are missing trucks, Humvees and helicopters that the response is going to be slower,” said Ms. Sebelius, a Democrat. “The real victims here will be the residents of Greensburg because the recovery will be at a slower pace.”

    …Ms. Sebelius said she would address the issue with President Bush when he arrives in Greensburg to tour the damage on Wednesday.

    …Tony Snow, a White House spokesman, rejected the criticism, saying the National Guard had equipment positioned around the country to respond to disasters when requested by states.

    …sure Tony – just another snow job by your and your twit of boss –

    LFTL

  4. Doubtom

    May 9, 2007 at 12:25 am

    to be used as they are in this undeclared war. The State governors should never have relinquished control over their Guard units to the Federal government, unless we had entered into a full-blown “declared war” against a nation. A so-called “war on terror”, is insufficient as a reason to augment the regular military forces with either Reserves or National Guard. We have an awful lot of people in high places who went along to get along. They are cowards and unfit to lead our troops into ‘real” combat. All Adjutant Generals of the various states with National Guard troops deployed in Iraq, should resign in disgrace.

  5. Ardie

    May 8, 2007 at 9:29 am

    How long will it take the Republicans to finally get enough nerve (or a sufficient amount of conscience) to realize that Iraq is a military black hole and join with the Democrats in freeing our troops from this fate which is almost worse than death?

  6. Donnat

    May 8, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Then why doesn’t he enact a draft? That fact alone assures me that this was totally a war of choice against an underdefended country that Bush thought he could win and thus, keep his popularity.

    We should all know by now he’s a jinx.
    Donnat

  7. Donnat

    May 8, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Then why doesn’t he enact a draft? That fact alone assures me that this was totally a war of choice against an underdefended country that Bush thought he could win and thus, keep his popularity.

    We should all know by now he’s a jinx.
    Donnat

  8. Donnat

    May 8, 2007 at 10:45 am

    Then why doesn’t he enact a draft? That fact alone assures me that this was totally a war of choice against an underdefended country that Bush thought he could win and thus, keep his popularity.

    We should all know by now he’s a jinx.
    Donnat

  9. Steve Horn

    May 8, 2007 at 11:10 am

    then why aren’t his kids serving?

  10. LurkingFromTheLeft

    May 8, 2007 at 11:59 am

    The Pentagon has notified more than 35,000 Army soldiers to be prepared to deploy to Iraq beginning this fall, a move that would allow commanders to maintain the ongoing buildup of troops through the end of the year if needed.

    Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman said Tuesday the deployment orders, which have been signed by Defense Secretary Robert Gates, do not mean that the military has made a decision to keep the increased level of 20 brigades in Iraq through December. A brigade is roughly 3,500 soldiers.

    Instead, he said the decision gives the Pentagon the “capability” to carry the buildup to the end of the year. The replacement forces, Whitman said, would give commanders in Iraq the flexibility they need to complete the mission there.

    The announcement, said Whitman, has “nothing to do” with a decision to extend the troop buildup. He said the Pentagon “has been very clear that a decision about the duration of the surge will depend on conditions on the ground.”

    …can’t SOMEONE ANYONE stop this insanity???

    LFTL

  11. geyser

    May 8, 2007 at 1:13 pm

    It has taken a long time but Republican politicians are finally understanding, once bush leaves office he is gone from politics, they still have a life. They want to remain in Washinton, going against what voters want, is not a way to win minds. John Boehner, House Leader broke away from bush earlier now, Senator Trent Lott has joined with Boehner saying, changes are needed to be seen in Iraq.
    Bush’s influence is becoming weaker as the days pass. With a 28% approval rating, there isn’t very much bush can do for any Republican.
    The Gonzales bust is still hanging from bush’s neck. It is among many open sores still tied to bush. Any one of them could be the final blow to destroy bush. It almost makes one feel sorry for the man, to snap yourself out of that, remember one item, bush caused eveyone of them, all on his lonesome.

    Taking One Day at a Time

  12. April-May

    May 16, 2007 at 2:53 am

    You think the GOP is coming around?

    Did you catch the “debates” tonight on Faux News? (Tues, May 15) Ten no names promising they’ll cut taxes and drill for more oil. “And when I’m Pres. we’ll win this war!”

    Space Cadets — jingoistical delusions.

    ———————————————
    NRA Distinguished Life Member