Democratic leaders have dropped demans for a timetable for troop withdrawal, clearing the way for the multi-billion dollar measure to fund the Iraq war, reports ABC News' Jake Tapper. The readiness requirements for U.S. troops that Democrats were pushing -- are also out.
Even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is able to point to benchmarks and reporting requirements in the latest version of the war funding bill, the reaction to the lack of a timetable from one of the Senate's fiercest war opponents was as scathing as it was swift.
"I cannot support a bill that contains nothing more than toothless benchmarks and that allows the President to continue what may be the greatest foreign policy blunder in our nation's history," said Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis., in a statement released by his office. "There has been a lot of tough talk from members of Congress about wanting to end this war, but it looks like the desire for political comfort won out over real action."
The Iraq supplemental bill (with a shorter leash but no timetable) will be first introduced in the House and is expected to be completed in the Senate "by sometime Thursday night or Friday," according to Reid.
Former Sen. John Edwards, D-N.C., will get a chance to put an '08 frame on the supplemental fight when he delivers 1:00 pm ET remarks to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York on Wednesday.
In addition to pressuring his top rivals to "stand firm" on a timetable, look for Edwards to fire up the Berkeley faculty lounge when he once again channels George Lakoff and explains why he no longer speaks of a "War on Terror". LINK
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., who has done his best not to answer how he will vote on a supplemental without a timetable for troop withdrawal, attends an 8:00 am ET private fundraising breakfast in Washington, and kicks off "Generation O," his initiative for young professionals, at the H20 Restaurant and Lounge at 7:30 pm ET.
Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., who has also been tight-lipped on how she would ultimately vote on a supplemental that does not include a timetable, holds a 12:15 pm ET press conference in Russell Room 428 A to introduce her Border Security and Immigration Reform Act of 2007.
Last Friday, in an interview with the Associated Press, Clinton's spokesperson explained that Clinton's amendment "would exempt the spouses and children of lawful permanent residents from the measure's visa caps, guaranteeing that families receive a higher priority."
While Sen. Clinton is busy in Washington, her husband joins former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan at the Oslo Spektrum in Norway for a joint seminar for business leaders.
As for the Republicans, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani attends a 7:30 am ET GOP breakfast in White River Junction, Vt., before heading to a 10:30 am ET meet and greet in Claremont, N.H., and a 10:30 am ET town hall meeting in Keene, N.H.
Despite what an MSNBC banner suggested briefly Tuesday, Thompson spokesman Mark Corallo says "categorically" that the "Law & Order" shadow candidate will not announce his presidential bid on Wednesday. Thompson will make a June 12 appearance on NBC's "Tonight Show" his spokesman Mark Corralllo told ABC News Tuesday.
(Thompson's next speech is Thursday when he speaks to the Connecticut Republican Party).