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Updated: House approves 2008 troop withdrawal

David Sirota: Progressive Democrats: The New Power Bloc In Congress
Update: The House voted 218-212 to approve a timetable for a Fall 2008 troop withdrawal. Bush says he'll veto... David Sirota comments on the historic compromise that took place behind the scenes below..

The progressive Democratic Members of Congress who had been considering trying to kill the supplemental bill that includes binding language to end the war made a deal with Speaker Pelosi to provide the necessary votes to pass the legislation. This is a principled and shrewd move that these lawmakers should be applauded for if and when the bill passes.

And it is a courageous move because it is never, ever easy to swallow a compromise, even if it is clearly the right thing to do to achieve long-term goals. These Members of Congress played hardball from the beginning, and that hardball made sure this bill included strong, binding legislation to end the war. Without that hardball, that legislation wouldn't be in this supplemental at all. In fact, such binding language probably wouldn't even be voted on at all in any form, much less have a solid chance to be passed by the full House today. And because of their efforts, progressive Democrats have not only brought the war closer to an end, but they have become one of the most powerful blocs in the U.S. Congress.
David Sirota is a veteran political strategist and author of Hostile Takeover, a New York Times bestseller about the corruption of both political parties.
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