WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi will present a plan to House Democrats for a war funding bill that won't include a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq but will feature benchmarks with consequences, according to Democratic leadership aides.Ah, but there's benchmarks! Yeah, right:
The bill also would raise the federal minimum wage to $7.25 per hour from $5.15 per hour, and fund other domestic spending programs, which were still being negotiated.
White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said any talk of a deal was premature.
"We're hopeful that the discussions over the emergency supplemental funding bill for the troops is nearing a conclusion," she said. "We have not seen the final language yet, and we look forward to reviewing it."
The legislation would provide more than $90 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through September 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Leadership aides said the benchmarks would be tied to Iraq reconstruction aid and would require President Bush to present to Congress numerous reports before August.
Reconstruction funds could be cut if the Iraqi government fails to meet the U.S. benchmarks, but the president could waive those penalties if he feels it necessary.Rahm Emanuel, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid ... they all consider it so important to help the GOP continue its proprietorship of the Mideast fiasco that it's worth the lives of the Americans, and the many more Iraqis, who will be slaughtered between now and that long-distant time at which the game clock runs out on the Bush regime. My impulse is to make a sarcastic wish that the so-called opposition party's nomenklatura sleeps well at night during this time. Trouble is, I'm sure they do, in fact, sleep quite well indeed.