It is already conventional wisdom that the "bridge fund" for the Iraq war passed Wednesday night in the House will be stopped by Republicans in the Senate. And for that reason, at least a few House Democrats say that their party should not pick another fight with the president over ending the war.
"Rep. Tanner had questions about the political viability of the bill because it may not be something that has the possibility of passing and making it all the way," said Randy Ford, spokesman for Rep. John Tanner (D-TN), who voted against the bill. "He really wants to continue working on it in a bipartisan way, so the House can insert itself not as one party or another but to have an oversight role."
Tanner has promoted a "bipartisan compact" with 14 Republican Members of Congress that seeks to promote a consensus approach to Congress overseeing the Iraq War. His aide reasoned that others would want to follow a similar approach in the months to come when the House has to take up the president's full emergency budget request.
"He's confident he's not the only one in the Democratic caucus who wants to see some cooperation with the minority party," said Randy Ford, a spokesman for Rep. John Tanner (D-TN).
A Democratic leadership aide was dismissive of the idea that the party was not ready to confront the president again.
"People feel that we have to show we are trying to change course in Iraq, that we were largely elected on that desire," the staff member said.