Dems seem to be mulling over two funding options for Iraq. They could send the White House a short-term, string-free bill that forces the president to come back in a few months for more money (at which point they might have enough votes for a timetable). Or they could pass a full funding bill that doesn't set deadlines, but does contain "benchmarks" for the Iraqi government and readiness standards for the troops.

Greg Sargent runs down the pros and cons of each option with a House Democratic aide. Worth reading, though I'm not sure I quite understand the downsides of the short-term bill. Would liberal Democrats really not vote for it? Would antiwar activists find this totally unacceptable?

A trickier question seems to be whether a few months would actually change the dynamic in Congress. According to the Post, some Republicans who currently oppose timetables are sounding like they could potentially flip, given enough pressure. ("The hallway talk is very different from the podium talk," says Bob Inglis, who voted against the original funding bill.) But the GOP base has been doing a good job keeping the party in the president's corner (including Inglis), so it's quite likely that there won't be any more Republican defectors anytime soon.

Update: According to aides to Pelosi and Reid, Dems haven't officially backed off timetables just yet.

--Bradford Plumer