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Friday, March 23, 2007
House Dems say they have the votes to pass Iraq measure

Has Rep. Rahm Emanuel, the House Democratic caucus chairman, coraled enough votes to pass the Iraq measure?

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Maryland, told CNN Friday he thinks Democrats have enough votes to pass an Iraq spending bill that sets a mandatory withdrawal from the country by the fall of 2008.

Debate on the measure resumed Friday morning with a vote scheduled for midday.

Democratic leaders have spent the last several days corralling enough votes for the measure as they face a caucus divided between a progressive faction in favor of an immediate withdrawal and a more moderate faction that is weary of setting time-tables.

To help get reluctant lawmakers on board, Democrats have added "sweeteners" to the $124 billion emergency supplemental spending bill -- a move Republicans decry.(Watch video: CNN's Joe Johns reports on how Democrats are adding extra pork to the measure)

The legislation includes some $21 billion to pay for items not in Bush's original request to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $25 million to bail out spinach growers in California hurt by last year's E. coli outbreak.

White House spokesman Tony Snow said Thursday the House bill "has zero chance of being enacted into law."

"It's bad legislation; the president's going to veto it, and Congress will sustain that veto," he said.
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