Feingold-Reid bill presents another Democratic gut check

When Ned Lamont whipped Joe Lieberman in the Connecticut Senatorial primary in August and became the Democratic party's nominee for U.S. Senate, I began a campaign of contacting the offices of Democratic Senators and seeing how fast they would be willing to go on the record and support Lamont over the Bush-hugging Lieberman.

Some pledged support for Lamont quickly, while others took a while to come around to the earth-shattering notion of being a Democrat and actually supporting the Democratic nominee. And some failed the gut-check entirely and chose to support Lieberman -- who, at that point, had abandoned the Democratic party -- over Lamont, who had won the support of Connecticut's Democrats fair, square and convincingly.

This one should be easier.

Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI), with the strong support of Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), will come back from the Senate recess next week and propose legislation that will challenge any veto made by George W. Bush on the war-funding bill that's just passed both houses of Congress. The Senate and House measures include provisions calling for a complete withdrawal of American troops from Iraq by March and September of 2008, respectively, and Bush has promised to veto whatever legislation he gets that contains language about bringing the troops home.

The Feingold-Reid measure matches the bill that just passed the Senate by ordering Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 120 days of enactment but will up the ante considerably by putting Bush on notice that funding for the war will stop in less than one year.

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