Wednesday, May 02, 2007

On the Veto

The President has vetoed the Iraq supplemental. His statement from last night is here. To me, this is the key portion:

Our troops are carrying out a new strategy with a new commander -- General David Petraeus. The goal of this new strategy is to help the Iraqis secure their capital, so they can make progress toward reconciliation, and build a free nation that respects the rights of its people, upholds the rule of law, and fights extremists and radicals and killers alongside the United States in this war on terror.

President George W. Bush issues a statement Tuesday, May 1, 2007, regarding his veto of the Iraq War Supplemental. Speaking from Cross Hall in the White House, the President said, "We need to give our troops all the equipment and the training and protection they need to prevail. The need to act is urgent." White House photo by Eric Draper In January, General Petraeus was confirmed by a unanimous vote in the United States Senate. In February, we began sending the first of the reinforcements he requested. Not all of these reinforcements have arrived. And as General Petraeus has said, it will be at least the end of summer before we can assess the impact of this operation. Congress ought to give General Petraeus' plan a chance to work.

Right now the debate in Congress over war funding is a distraction; it draws attention away from the real question of whether Iraq succeeds or fails. To a large degree, everything else is a sideshow.

The House will defeat the veto override today, and Congressional leaders will meet with the President to determine the next step. Since Republican votes will be needed - at least in the House - to pass a bill, Minority Leader Boehner will have an important say in what happens next. His legislation on Iraq (here) contains language that seems likely to be the starting point for conversations on GOP support.

Read too, the summary of the conference call with Tony Snow, over at the Standard.

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