Spin doctors for both sides battled anew as congressional Democrats sent President Bush an Iraq war-funding bill with a timetable for withdrawal, and Bush vowed to veto it immediately.
The veto, expected this week, will allow Bush to continue his count of the days until Congress sends him an acceptable bill-one that does not "handcuff our generals, add billions of dollars in unrelated spending, and [make us] begin to pull out of Iraq by an arbitrary date."
Meanwhile, the Democratic National Committee is running its own tally: "It's Been 90 Days and Counting: Escalation Plan Still Not Working," it claimed on its website one day last week. War of words aside, it's unclear where this all goes next.
Some Democrats suggest a compromise bill that would set nonbinding benchmarks for Iraqi behavior on matters like curbing sectarian violence and dividing oil revenues. The hope: It might pull in enough Republican senators to make it vetoproof.
By Kenneth T. Walsh