The 246-182 vote by the House of Representatives to disapprove of President George Bush's build-up of troops in Baghdad was the Story of the Day. All three newscasts led with a report from Capitol Hill. CBS and NBC followed with the White House reaction. ABC chose the impact on the Senate as its secondary angle.

ABC's Jake Tapper (subscription required) evoked the mood of the debate: "Years of Democratic anger spilled out on the House floor." As for the Republicans, they "alternated between arguing that the resolution was completely worthless or, conversely, cataclysmic." When it came to the vote NBC's Chip Reid noted the key question: "How many Republicans would abandon the President?" He recalled earlier estimates of 20 to 60. "In the end there were only 17." CBS' Sharyl Attkisson agreed: "Largely a party-line vote after a party-line debate."

NBC's David Gregory (at the tail of the Reid videostream) said that the focus at the White House was not on this "political blow" but on the next step: the President "will not abide a cut in funding." In order to argue his case, CBS' Jim Axelrod anticipated this formulation: Supporting the Troops Means Funding the Troops.

Nothing may come of the House vote anyway, not even a purely symbolic piece of legislation, ABC's George Stephanopoulos predicted. The vote in the Senate lines up at 55-45 against the President's policy, short of the 60 needed to overcome a pro-Bush filibuster. "There are a lot of Democrats who do want to go farther, who want to cut funding for the troops." But if they do not have the votes for disapproval, how do they expect to have the votes for cuts?


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