The Republicans Are Getting Restless

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WASHINGTON: Sen. Mitch McConnell wants to arm the KLA. Rep. Tom Campbell wants to declare war. And John McCain wants to mobilize the infantry, saying Tuesday that "as almost anyone with war experience knows" -- hint, hint -- "you're never supposed to show the enemy what you won't do to win." But the Republicans who went to the White House late Tuesday looking for an escalation in NATO's war on the Serbs came away disappointed. The word from Clinton is still "Give bombs a chance," and congressional GOPers, however eager they are to show the voters how ill-qualified their current commander in chief is, aren't yet ready to turn their grumblings into action.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert says there won't be a House vote on Kosovo this week, and Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott says, "I think we need to see how this thing progresses" before he lets a vote on either a formal war declaration or ground troops pick up any steam. For now, all Clinton is willing to give Republicans on Wednesday is the bill: Advance estimates say the U.S. share of Operation Allied Force, driven up by refugee relief efforts, could hit $8 billion. Republicans will likely fork it over without much complaint -- after all, what most of them are asking for would cost far more, in both dollars and American lives. Their argument will be that winning is worth it.