WASHINGTON—The Chicago Sun-Times has confirmed that all the presidential contenders-- Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y) and GOP presumptive nominee Sen. John McCain (R-Az.)-- will drop off the campaign trail on Tuesday, April 8, to return to the Capitol for hearings on the Iraq surge featuring Gen. David Petraeus and Amb. Ryan C. Crocker.
The testimony of Petraeus, the U.S. commander in Iraq, and Crocker, the U.S. Iraqi ambassador, before House and Senate panels comes as 4,003 U.S. soldiers have died since the war began. Democrats in Congress are gearing up for tough sessions to question the progress of President Bush’s surge, which McCain has defended.
On Tuesday morning, Petraeus and Crocker will appear before the Senate Armed Services Committee—with McCain and Clinton—and in the afternoon Petraeus and Crocker will be testify in front of the Foreign Relations Committee, where Obama has a seat. Obama and Clinton have been wrestling over their Iraqi troop-withdrawal plans.
Spokesmen for all three candidates said they plan to attend the hearings.