Looks as if the 45-day investigation dodge may not work.
The Republicans in the House, desperate to distance themselves from the Beloved Leader on the ports deal, are going to attach a provision to kill the deal to the emergency appropriation for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. GWB has threatened to veto any such bill, but of course he won’t want to veto that appropriation. So if the House stands firm and insists on keeping the provision in the bill that goes to the President’s desk, Bush would find himself in a corner.
My bet is that this is more Dingbat Kabuki. The House will vote overwhelmingly for the bill, the Senate will vote for a different version — thus giving everyone a chance to vote against the ports deal — and then the provision will get dropped in conference based on some vague promise from the White House.
Note that the provision as proposed is obnoxiously stupid. It would ban all foreign ownership of critical transportation infrastructure, as if an investor-owned company based in Great Britain were really no different from a state-owned company from a country that recognized the Taliban and whose rulers were Osama’s hunting buddies. I’d like to see the Democrats offer an amendment that would bar only companies that comply with the Arab boycott of Israel or are owned by or based in countries where that boycott has the force of law.