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Security Politics

Senate Democrats are planning to repeal the 2002 Iraq war resolution and replace it with a measure granting Bush and the military a narrower role, while House Democrats have "pulled back from efforts" to tie more funding for the war to troop readiness, but are looking for other ways to limit Bush's authority. The Washington Post says Senate Democrats, led by presidential candidate and Sen. Joe Biden, are likely to face procedural roadblocks again in seeking to repeal the 2002 resolution and pass a narrower measure. Rep. John Murtha "doomed his own plan" to tie funding to troop readiness "in part by unveiling it on a left-wing website." 

The AP: "Officials said Thursday the precise wording of the [Senate] measure remains unsettled. One version would restrict American troops in Iraq to fighting al-Qaeda, training Iraqi army and police forces, maintaining Iraq's territorial integrity and otherwise proceeding with the withdrawal of combat forces." 

The New York Times: "Lawmakers and senior aides said that such a plan was unlikely to pass Congress, and even if it did, it would certainly be vetoed by President Bush. But Democrats say their intention is to keep pressure on both Mr. Bush and Congressional Republicans who are facing a public frustrated with the war. Democrats say that other Iraq proposals are likely to emerge as well." 

The Los Angeles Times looks at how formerly low-profile Texas Rep. Sam Johnson (R), a Vietnam POW, "has emerged as the House GOP's point man in an escalating fight in Congress over Bush's execution of the war — a position that puts him opposite another decorated Vietnam veteran, [Murtha].  GOP leaders see Johnson as the Republican best suited to counter Murtha, an ex-Marine and defense hawk who has become a influential war critic." 

The Politico reports that Sen. Joe Lieberman (I), who currently caucuses with Democrats, could be prompted to make the switch to the GOP, depending on how the Iraq war funding debate turns out.  (We'd add that Lieberman, who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee under the Democratic majority, presumably would get to keep that post if he switches parties and gives Republicans control of the chamber.)