Now that the debate over non-binding resolutions in opposition to/support of a troop increase in Iraq has shifted to the House, the media is once again anticipating the White House's "most significant confrontation with Congress so far over its handling of the Iraq war," as the Financial Times puts it. House Democrats' version of the non-binding resolution "would oppose the escalation of the war but express support for funding the troops already on the ground."
"Democrats will allow Republicans to offer alternative language, and House GOP leaders said they are considering two possible approaches," says the Washington Post. "One is a resolution declaring that Congress will not cut off funding for U.S. troops. The other would establish a bipartisan panel to monitor Bush's new strategy in Iraq, including the troop increase. It would also offer benchmarks for Iraqis to meet, to show they are fulfilling their commitments to assuming greater responsibility for the war."
Roll Call notes that "the White House on Thursday waged a PR offensive of its own. Bush administration officials invited a bipartisan, bicameral group of House and Senate leadership communications officials to join in on 'an unclassified briefing' from Baghdad on Monday morning. The video teleconference is being billed as the first of what the administration says will be regular sessions with leadership aides."
"To the surprise of the Bush administration, the House Intelligence Committee voted unanimously Wednesday night to allow all 435 House members to see the classified version of the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq sent to the White House last week," The Politico reports. "The document will provide fuel for" the House debate. "The White House was not informed or consulted about the decision. Such access for members is rare but not unprecedented."
"Senate Republicans yesterday contradicted top Pentagon officials who say Congress would not injure troop morale by passing" the non-binding resolution opposing a troop increase, per the Washington Times.