After a briefing at the Pentagon, Mr. Bush said he had instructed Joshua B. Bolten, the White House chief of staff, to reach “common ground” with lawmakers of both parties over setting firm goals, or benchmarks, to measure progress in Iraq.
“It makes sense to have benchmarks as a part of our discussion on how to go forward,” Mr. Bush said, even as he threatened to veto the House plan, approved on a 221-to-205 vote Thursday night, which would require him to seek approval in two months for the balance of the war money.
The bill approved by the House would provide $42.8 billion total, with about $30 billion directed to the war effort for the next two months. It requires the president to report by July 13 on how the Iraqi government is performing in building its military and moving toward achieving political unity. Congress would then vote a second time on whether to give the administration the remainder of the money — about $50 billion — to maintain operations in Iraq through Sept. 30 or to restrict that money to deployment.
“No more,” said Steny H. Hoyer, who backed the plan. “No more blank checks.”
Who knows if this will work or anything will work to get Bush to start removing our soldiers from Iraq but I remain hopeful...