Wednesday, July 11, 2007

More Iraq wrangling: According to the WaPo, Hagel now supports the Levin-Reed withdrawal amendment--so 3 Republican backers so far (Hagel, Smith, and Snowe). This story also speculates that the defeat of the Webb amendment may mean that opponents of the current policy in Iraq will be unable to gain the necessary 60 votes for any forced timetable (and President Bush has also declared that he will veto any measure with a forced deadline for withdrawal). However, this WaPo story ends with two cryptic paragraphs:

Reid angrily dismissed another bipartisan effort would require Bush to develop a comprehensive plan based on the Iraq Study Group's recommendations. Under that amendment, the White House would be free to adjust timetables for the removal of U.S. combat forces and the transition of the mission to training and counterterrorism.

Reid said the amendment "doesn't have the teeth of a toothless tiger."

Is this "effort" the Salazar amendment? Does this dismissal mean that Reid won't back the measure to come up for a vote?

UPDATE: Well, according to this new WaPo story, Reid is talking about the Salazar plan:

But although Alexander and Salazar have more than a half-dozen sponsors in each party, their plan was under assault from both Democrats and the White House. Reid derided the idea as weak, saying "it doesn't have the teeth of a toothless tiger."