WASHINGTON--As House Democrats wrestle with finding a compromise on Iraq war funding, Democratic White House candidate former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) just issued a shot at his own: that the deal they are proposing is a sell-out.
Edwards is working to claim the anti-Iraq war vote and he is running against Congress in the process.
He voted to authorize the war while a senator but says to all who ask it was a mistake. Now he said the Democratic compromise in the works---to give President Bush half the money he wants for Iraq and Afghanistan with another vote in July, dependent on a series of specific, benchmarked demands for the floundering Iraqi government to meet. The House will vote on this compromise on Thursday. The Senate will take this up late with the goal by Democratic leaders to have a bill by Memorial Day.
Edwards' is also putting chief rivals on the spot: Will Senators Barack Obama (D-Ill.) and Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) vote for this compromise. The hard left in the Democratic party--those often most active in primary votes--will have to be sold on this deal. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said Wednesday that Bush will veto this compromise bill.
“This is not a compromise; it is a concession. This proposal may not give George Bush all the money he wants, but it gives him all the money he needs to continue his surge and keep the war going. The Pentagon's latest announcement is just more evidence that it's full steam ahead for the president." Edward said in a statement.
Edwards is in Chicago today to speak at a noon Chicago time Women Employed lunch. He was invited because of his work at the poverty center he helped create at the University of North Carolina. In addition to the speech, he is also attending a fundraiser hosted by Philip and Janet Rotner.
Release from the Edwards campaign....
EDWARDS STATEMENT ON CONGRESSIONAL PROPOSAL ON IRAQ
Chapel Hill, North Carolina – Senator John Edwards released the following statement today about the proposal in Congress that would give President Bush half of the funds he requested for the war in Iraq and require a vote in July to determine whether to give the president the rest of the funds.
“This is not a compromise; it is a concession. This proposal may not give George Bush all the money he wants, but it gives him all the money he needs to continue his surge and keep the war going. The Pentagon's latest announcement is just more evidence that it's full steam ahead for the president.
“Enough is enough. We don't need to wait and see how the surge is going to do; we know the surge has failed.
“It is time to end this war and there is only one way to make the president do that - Congress' funding power.
“Congress should not back down to the president's veto. They should pass the same bill they sent him last month, a plan to support our troops, end the war, and bring them home."
Paid for by John Edwards for President.
EDWARDS STATEMENT ON BUSH VETO THREAT OF NEW IRAQ WAR FUNDING PROPOSAL
Chapel Hill, North Carolina - Senator John Edwards released the following statement today following the White House's announcement that the president would veto the new Congressional proposal on funding of the war in Iraq. The proposal would give President Bush half of the funds he requested for the war in Iraq and require a vote in July to determine whether to give the president the rest of the funds.
"Earlier today I said the compromise under discussion is a concession, and now the president is already saying he'll veto it. The president has just demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt that he cannot be negotiated with, he cannot be compromised with.
"He is dead set on pursuing his discredited strategy in Iraq without regard to the cost in lives, the evidence of its failure, or the clear will of the American people.
"There is only one way to stop him - Congress must cut off funds to prolong the war. That's the only real power they have to end this war. They passed a plan to support our troops and bring them home, and they should do it again.
"Nothing else will work. And if the president vetoes it - if he vetoes any bill that supports our troops but sets conditions - then it is his willful behavior alone that is standing in the way of what our troops need."