It is obvious that a massive power battle is underway in Washington, and it's about time. After endless challenges from the Bush Administration to the checks and balances which have served our nation well, the House and now the Senate, in a unanimous votes, have told the President they will no longer fund the costs of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq with emergency funding requests.
If, as Bush says, the wars are the "right thing to do" and that the conflict is a "long war", there is no reason for emergency funding requests from the Pentagon in tens of billions every few months.
The action requires specifics in strategies, supplies, force strengths and the lives of our soldiers abroad. The Constitution is so clear on the issue of oversight and checks of power and spending, even if our security is at stake -- to abandon the tenets on which our government works on a constant cry of "Danger! Danger!" is a reckless act. Both houses should have done this last year, or even required it within a shorter timetable following the approval of the President's decision to go to war in Afghanistan and Iraq.
The 98-0 vote demanding budget specifics and the end of emergency funding is, at last, a clear signal to the President that his days as Commander In Chief are waning and the true long-term function of our government needs to return to normal balances.
Will this administration fight this? Most definitely. But it appears the Senate and the House are finally making it clear - our government is meant to operate with oversight of the decisions made, not to write blank checks forever with zero scrutiny. It's the way we will see all our rights, our needs and the lives of those in harm's way best served.