The Senate approved the Iraq funding bill 51-46 early this afternoon, conferring its expected stamp of approval on an October troop pullout. But the vote fell short of the two-thirds majority needed to avoid a promised veto. Democrats are already ruminating on post-veto counter-proposals, including replacing the rigid timetable with benchmarks.
Bush has repeatedly goaded Dems to leave military decisions up to the generals. But Gen. David Petraeus, who said yesterday that he needed more time to gage the success of the surge in Iraq, offered a more equivocal message at a Pentagon briefing this morning, calling the situation in Iraq “exceedingly complex and very tough.”