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Security Politics

The Los Angeles Times says of the GOP's move to block debate over the Warner resolution that the "gambit dealt a setback to the nascent campaign to take on the Bush administration's management of the war.  It also may mean that leadership in challenging Bush may shift to House Democrats...  Senate Republicans, meanwhile, could be taking a major political risk in casting themselves as the barrier to a war debate that American voters have indicated they want Congress to engage in." 

"Democrats said they would eventually find a way to put each senator on record," per the AP

Politico offers some useful head counts: 58 senators say they oppose a troop increase.  "Yet, a core group of Republicans remained undecided on whether to express that discontent with a 'yes' vote on a resolution critical of the president's plan."  And: "Half of the current Democratic senators who backed President Bush's call to war in 2002 say they now regret authorizing the invasion of Iraq." 

Sen. Barack Obama (D) holds a press conference today to talk about his proposal calling for specific benchmarks for success and a timeline to redeploy US troops by March 31, 2008.

The House Government Reform Committee starts its planned hearings on the government's process of awarding Iraq contracts.  Former Coalition Provisional Authority chief Paul Bremer testifies today.  "The hearings by the new Democratic majority are not designed to embarrass President Bush but are 'just fact-finding,' a committee aide said...  White House officials say they welcome added oversight, but House Republicans said the hearings more closely resemble a botched firing squad than a fact-finding exercise," the Washington Times notes. 

The Boston Globe on Bush's budget: "While the outlines of the president's war request have been known for weeks, the fact that the administration is asking for money in fiscal 2008 and 2009 suggests the administration anticipates that US troops will remain in Iraq at least through 2009." 

The Hill says of Bush's budget that ironically, "differences of opinion over spending... may not extend to spending on the war, where Democrats are nervous about restricting money spent on the troops."  The story's headline calls the budget "dead."  "Dead on arrival because Democrats are eager to distinguish their priorities from the president's, and the Constitution grants Congress the power of the purse."