Saying PM Nouri al-Maliki's government had given it little to work with, Iraq's parliament began a 5-week recess today, Reuters reports. The chamber normally begins its summer break in July, but with crucial legislation pending, members delayed. Squabbling between political factions then stalled laws seen as vital to mending the Sunni-Shiite fracture that's impeding the new regime's progress.
The move is a blow to President Bush, whose team in Iraq will now likely have little to show when they report in mid-September on the troop surge and other recent strategy changes. "We do not have anything to discuss in the parliament, no laws or constitutional amendments, nothing from the government," one Kurdish lawmaker said.