House Democratic leaders are splitting the new Iraq funding bill into two distinct amendments, the Politco reports. One will be the $103 billion Bush requested for the war in Iraq, which will speak of benchmarks but won't demand a withdrawal date, the other a $17 billion domestic spending package.
The maneuver allows Dems who oppose the compromised bill to vote against it without blocking funding for Katrina aid and a minimum wage increase. Liberals are slamming the Iraq bill as a surrender to stay-the-course Republicans, but Nancy Pelosi defended it even as her tactic made it easier to oppose. "It's a giant step toward beginning the end of the war," she said.