House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) said this week, “By the time we get to September or October, members are going to want to know how well this is working, and if it isn’t, what’s Plan B.” His remarks were echoed by Senate Minority Whip Trent Lott (R-MS).
But a new National Journal “Congressional Insiders Poll,” which surveyed 124 members of Congress, finds that the September deadline may not mean much to war supporters.
Fully 67 percent of congressional Republicans say that even if conditions in Iraq have not improved significantly by September, Congress will still not pass legislation withdrawing U.S. forces out of Iraq. They give reasons such as, “Democrats will try, but fail,” and “No complete withdrawal can occur without Al Qaeda setting up a safe haven.”
Question: If the political and military situation in Iraq has not significantly improved by September, will Congress enact legislation to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq?
In contrast, 59 percent of congressional Democrats said they believe Congress will pass withdrawal legislation if conditions don’t improve.
Also, unlike their GOP counterparts, the Democratic members who say Congress will not pass withdrawal legislation say they feel this way because they don’t believe enough war supporters will buck President Bush — not because they oppose the idea of withdrawal.