Capitol Hillbillies

House funds Iraq war on the installment plan

Bush at Pentagon Thursday (AP)

The Democratic-controlled House voted Thursday night to pay for military operations in Iraq on an installment plan, defying President Bush's threat of a second straight veto in a fierce test of wills over the unpopular war.

The 221-205 vote was largely along party lines and sent the measure to a cool reception in the Senate, where Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is seeking a compromise with the White House and Republicans.

Under growing political pressure from Republicans, Bush coupled his veto threat with a sign of flexibility. Visiting the Pentagon, he said he was willing to sign a military money bill that includes political and military goals for the Iraqi government.

Doolittle says feds intimidated him, wife

Rep John Doolittle
Rep. Doolittle (AP)

California Rep. John Doolittle, under scrutiny in the Jack Abramoff congressional corruption case, charged Wednesday that the government tried to strong-arm his wife to get him to admit to committing a crime.

When he wouldn't, FBI agents searched his home to intimidate and pressure him and his wife, Doolittle said.

Harry Reid’s competing interests

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, a gold miner's son from the top gold-producing state in the nation, is confronting competing political interests as House Democrats prepare to rewrite an antiquated hard-rock mining law.

Another showdown over Iraq war funding

With moderate Republicans telling President George W. Bush he has lost the trust of the American people and faces a massive defection within GOP ranks over his failed Iraq war, the stage is set today for another showdown on Capitol Hill over funding of the war.

Bush is threatening another veto if the bill includes any attempts to set timetables or restrictions on the war.

Democrats come up with new Iraq plan

Rep. Steny Hower (AFP)

Democrats sparked a new skirmish with President George W. Bush over Iraq Tuesday, with a plan to bankroll the unpopular war for just three months with an option to cut off funds in July.

The latest move in a titanic struggle over ending US involvement in Iraq came a week after Bush vetoed a Democratic bid to condition future financing for the four-year-old conflict on a timeline for troop withdrawals.

Another GOP leader says Bush’s time is running out

  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.

Clinton, Obama fault Bush on Katrina response

  Barack Obama (AP)

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton criticized the Bush administration’s response to Hurricane Katrina and pledged Saturday to funnel more federal aid to the still-recovering Gulf Coast if elected.

Speaking to the National Conference of Black Mayors, Clinton and Sen. Sen. Barack Obama both took President Bush to task, although Obama focused mostly on the Iraq war and Clinton on domestic issues.

GOP leader says party’s support could wane for Bush’s war if surge fails

  Rep. John Boehner (AP Photo)

The House Republican leader said Sunday that GOP support could waver if President Bush’s Iraq war policy does not succeed by the fall. A top Democrat said it would be "ridiculous" to stop insisting on linking new war money and a troop withdrawal.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said Bush’s troop increase deserves a shot.

"We don’t even have all of the 30,000 additional troops in Iraq yet, so we’re supporting the president. We want this plan to have a chance of succeeding," he said.