WASHINGTON — Democrats know they might lose this month's showdown with President Bush on legislation to pull troops out of Iraq. But with 2008 elections in mind, majority Democrats says it is only a matter of time before they will get their way.
Senior Democrats are calculating that if they keep the pressure on, eventually more Republicans will jump ship and challenge the president — or lose their seats to Democratic contenders.
"It's at least my belief that they are going to have to break because they're going to look extinction, some of them, in the eye," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., of his Republican colleagues.
Added Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.: "We're going to pick up Senate seats as a result of this war."
The House and Senate are expected to negotiate war spending legislation this week. The Democratic proposal would approve $96 billion in military money, mostly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and set a timetable for troop withdrawal.The House wants to end combat operations before September 2008; senators voted to set a nonbinding goal of ending combat by March 31, 2008.