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The Deflating Showdown

Armed Services chair Carl LevinPost
Senate Armed Services Chairman Carl M. Levin (D-Mich.) acknowledged that an override is unlikely, but said Democratic leaders are considering other ways to force a change of course in Iraq. One option, Levin said on "Fox News Sunday," is to include the Iraqi government benchmarks that the White House established for reducing sectarian violence and building a democratic governing and political system. As an alternative to withdrawal terms that Bush is sure to veto, Levin said Congress could spell out consequences, should the Iraqi government keep falling short. "Those benchmarks would hopefully have some teeth in them ..." Levin said.
Asked at a recent news conference about congressional war powers, Bush seemed to suggest that while he disagrees with efforts to set a timetable for withdrawal, lawmakers are within their constitutional rights to do so. "The Congress is exercising its legitimate authority as it sees fit right now," Bush said.
PostEve Fairbanks