Capitol Hillbillies

Senate passes Iraq timetable

In a bold wartime challenge to President Bush, the Democratic-controlled Senate voted Thursday to begin withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later. The White House dismissed the legislation as "dead before arrival."

Iraq bill headed for a certain veto

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (AP)

Congress will send President George W. Bush an Iraq war spending bill next week that includes a withdrawal timeline. Bush will veto the bill and send it back to the Hill.

Another round of posturing on Capitol Hill while more American troops die and a deadly war continues in a far away land.

Divided House passes troop withdrawal bill

Sens. Carl Levin & Jack Reed after meeting with generals (AP)

A sharply divided House brushed aside a veto threat Wednesday and passed legislation that would order President Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by Oct. 1.

Dems: ‘We have the votes on Iraq’

Gen. David Petraeus, second from right, the top U.S. commander in Iraq walks on Capitol Hill Wednesday between meetings with members of Congress to discuss the latest on the war in Iraq. (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)

Democrats brushed off a White House veto threat and pleas for patience from the top U.S. commander in Iraq Wednesday and pushed toward a vote demanding that troops begin coming home this fall.

Their insistence guaranteed a historic showdown with President Bush, the first on the war since Democrats took control of Congress in January.

"Our troops are mired in a civil war with no clear enemy and no clear strategy for success," said House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer.

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.