A Senate test vote on Iraq has the makings of a turning point in the Democratic presidential campaign, obliging Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama to take a fresh look at calls for cutting off war funds.
Both have voted against binding timetables for troop withdrawals in the past, before public sentiment against the war hardened or they became presidential contenders.
Rep. William Jefferson says the FBI crossed the line when it raided his congressional office and wants a federal appeals court to order the return of documents.
| Sen. Harry Red (AFP)|
The top Democrat in the US Senate Friday staked out the next tussle between Congress and the White House over Iraq, arguing that political sands were shifting against President George W. Bush.
Senator Harry Reid probed anew at signs of cracks in Republican support for Bush's strategy, hours after the House of Representatives defied Bush's veto threat and voted to fund the war in installments of only a few months.
"In just the last few days, we have seen our Republican colleagues tell the president that his war strategy is failing," Reid said on the Senate floor.
"This is a welcome shift. It is encouraging."
Desperate Iraqi officials, worried the United States might pull out and let them fight their civil war on their own, dispatched lobbyists to Capitol Hill this week to try and convince Congress to waste more American lives and taxpayer money to fund President George W. Bush's failed war.
| 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.
| 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.
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.
| AG Gonzales (AP)|
Democrats are shifting their attention on the botched firings of eight federal prosecutors from Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' fitness to head the Justice Department to the White House role in the dismissals.
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.
| 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.