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).
The Washington Post's Chris Cillizza reports Tuesday that Thompson has signed up another GOP insider -- former FEC Chairman Michael Toner -- to serve as the lead lawyer for his "increasingly likely" '08 bid. Cillizza reported yesterday that Tom Collamore, a former vice president of public affairs at Altria, will serve as Thompson's campaign manager. LINK
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., begins the day in Fort Worth, Texas, with a 10:00 am ET fundraising breakfast. Then it's back to DC for a 2:00 pm ET meeting with his National Finance Committee, and a 5:30 pm ET fundraising reception with young professionals on the rooftop of the white-shoe law firm of Covington and Burling.
Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., attends a 1:30 pm ET fundraiser in Kansas City, Mo.
In Houston, Texas, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., is a guest on Bill Bennett's morning radio program, he holds an 11:00 am ET press availability to discuss a progressive national sales tax, and he faces off with Hannity & Colmes at 9:00 pm ET.
On the US Attorney front, former White House Justice Department liaison Monica Goodling testifies before a 10:15 am ET hearing of the House Judiciary Committee.
President Bush delivers an 11:15 am ET commencement address to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Conn.
The President will use his remarks to discuss recent intelligence that asserts that Osama bin Laden commissioned a terror cell to be set up in Iraq to plan and launch attacks against the United States, Reports ABC News' Karen Travers.
Bush will say that in 2005 Osama bin Laden tasked Abu Musab al-Zarqawi to go to Iraq to set up terror cells that would plan and plot attacks against the U.S. and other countries,Travers reports.
First Lady Laura Bush will be up on The Hill participating in a 11:45 am ET announcement of the Senate Women's Caucus on Burma in the Senate Russell Office Building.
House Republican Conference Chairman Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., and Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., hold an 11:30 am ET pen-and-pad session with reporters in the U.S. Capitol.
House Democrats hold a press conference tomorrow to make noise about high gas prices. Rep. Bart Stupak D-Mich., will represent the Dems in a 10:15 am ET press conference at Congressional Exxon.
And The Hotline's Amy Walter holds an 8:15 am ET news briefing on recent polls on the 2008 presidential election at the Watergate in Washington, DC.