Capitol Hillbillies

Dems claim they have votes for Iraq withdrawal

Senator Harry Reid and Vice President Dick Cheney (AP Photo)House Democratic leaders predict they will have enough votes to pass legislation requiring U.S. troops to begin leaving Iraq by Oct. 1 and send it on to President Bush for his promised veto.

Several House members said they would go along with the bill negotiated with the Senate in a bid for party unity despite their desire for an earlier, binding withdrawal date.

Scandal-ridden Rep gives up committee posts

042407renzi.jpgAn Arizona congressman temporarily stepped down from two more House committees on Tuesday, less than a week after the FBI raided his wife’s insurance business.

Rep. Rick Renzi announced in a statement Tuesday that he was taking a leave of absence from the House Financial Services and Natural Resources committees. He stepped down from the House Intelligence Committee last week.

Republican to Dems: ‘Listen to the commanders’

042407young.jpgAs Democrats head toward a showdown with President Bush on Iraq, a leading Republican warned that they are making an all-too-familiar mistake: not listening to seasoned commanders.

Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Fla., said catastrophe always follows when civilians turn a deaf ear to their military officers.

The only action will be inaction

Don’t expect Capitol Hill to react to the Virginia Tech mass murder in any consequential way.

Unlike after the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, when Democrats in Congress won new rules that limited the availability of some firearms, even fierce gun-control advocates like New York Sen. Charles Schumer are largely laying low.

Dems mull options as Iraq veto looms

042207dems.jpgDemocrats are considering their next step after President Bush’s inevitable veto of their war spending proposal, including a possible short-term funding bill that would force Congress to revisit the issue this summer.

Another alternative is providing the Pentagon the money it needs for the war but insisting that the Iraqi government live up to certain political promises. Or, sending Bush what he wants for now and setting their sights on 2008 spending legislation.

House Republican leader: Gonzales must go

A congressional Republican leader on Friday joined bipartisan calls for U.S. Attorney General Alberto Gonzales to resign but the White House reaffirmed its confidence in President George W. Bush’s long-time friend.

Pelosi: Gonzales should resign

The Speaker of the House called Friday for the resignation of embattled Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, questioning his candor over the controversial dismissal of eight top prosecutors.

Nancy Pelosi urged Gonzales to step down one day after President George W. Bush’s longtime aide was grilled by a key Senate panel over his role in the firing of the US attorneys.

Waxman may subpoena Rice, Card

If President Bush’s former chief of staff can chat about the identifying of CIA agent Valerie Plame on Jon Stewart’s comedy show, he can talk about it to the House oversight committee, the panel’s chairman said Friday. If Andy Card refuses, the panel will vote Wednesday on whether to compel his testimony with a subpoena, said Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.