The first major political confrontation over Iraq will be a Congressional resolution to oppose the Bush announcement that he is ordering a reinforcement of US troops in Baghdad. From the White House, NBC's David Gregory noted that the President "finds himself more isolated than ever" after making a decision to override Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, who wanted Iraqi forces to "take the lead in securing Baghdad."
The initial challenge from Congress, NBC's Chip Reid conceded, will be merely "symbolic" opposition. Reid predicted passage in the House and an attempted filibuster in the Senate. He counted votes and found seven Republicans--Gordon Smith, Chuck Hagel, Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, George Voinovich, Sam Brownback, Norm Coleman--committed to voting against Bush's plan. So "four or five more" switchers will be required.
After that, NBC's Gregory wondered, the stakes may get higher: "Will, over time, Democrats in Congress restrict war funding? Will, over time, the President withdraw troops from Iraq if Iraqis fail to meet their commitments?"
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