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House Republicans make a move on Iraq

From NBC's Mike Viqueira
House Republicans want to see "tangible results" from the President's planned troop increase in Iraq, and they want Congress to play a bigger role in making sure it happens. House Minority Leader John Boehner and others will announce later today their desire to form a "select committee" in the House "to oversee the implementation of benchmarks" to be met by the Iraqis themselves, according to a top House GOP aide.

They want to see more military coordination and cooperation between Iraqi and US forces, an increased level of training for Iraqis, and more efficiency from Iraqi government ministries. And they would demand that the President report back to Congress every 30 days with a progress report.

Boehner also will send a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi later today requesting her agreement in forming this special, or "select," committee of the House. The idea is the product of weeks of "listening sessions" that Boehner has held with rank-and-file in an effort to come up with a GOP political strategy in response to the situation in Iraq, short of having dozens of Republicans jump ship and vote for resolutions disapproving of the Bush plan.

Formation of the committee would require the acquiescence of Pelosi, who's likely to see this as political cover for Republicans unhappy with the Bush policy, and reject it.  Republicans could be expected to counter that this select committee would beef up oversight, something that Pelosi and Democrats have called for since the war began.