H.R. 2237: the Iraq Redeployment Act; and H.R. 2206: U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina recovery and Iraq Accountability Act
May 11, 2007
On Thursday May 10th, the House voted on two bills regarding Iraq and I am heartened by the results. The first bill we considered, H.R. 2237, the "Iraq Redeployment Act," called for an immediate withdrawal of troops from Iraq. As most of you know, I am opposed to the war, voted against it in 2002 and have, for many months, been calling for troop withdrawal. Finally, those of us who support an immediate redeployment had the chance to vote for it. H.R. 2237 required troop withdrawal to begin no later than 90 days from enactment of the legislation and directed that it be completed within 180 days from the day it began. We did not have enough votes to pass the bill. However, 171 Members voted YES, including two Republicans. I did not expect that level of support for this bill. The fact that so many Members voted for H.R. 2237 tells me that we are moving solidly in the right direction and I firmly believe we will get there. I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:
On Thursday evening, the House passed the second bill: H.R. 2206: the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007. Among other emergency expenditures, this bill provides short term funding for the war in Iraq. It constrains the President, as did the last bill that he vetoed. Most important, it requires that the President report to Congress on July 13th regarding the progress that the Iraqi government has made on many of the benchmarks set forth by the President himself in his 2007 State of the Union Address. Within seven legislative days of receiving the President's report, the House would then vote on whether to release the remaining funds. This legislation also includes a provision requiring a July vote on an amendment to designate the remaining funding solely for troop redeployment within 180 days of the bill's enactment. I voted YES. The entire vote is recorded below:
Although the President has already said that he will veto this bill, for the first time he has expressed a willingness to listen to arguments for the imposition of benchmarks on the Iraqi government. I do not know how serious he is about seeking a compromise with Congress but I think this shift is a significant development.
There are also some interesting facts I think are worth pointing out. 127 Democrats and 6 Republicans voted against the initial authorization of the war. Of those 6 Republicans, only 2 are still in Congress, and both voted FOR withdrawal. No other Republican Members, even those who on occasion have voted to limit the President's war powers, voted to end this war immediately.
Of the 127 Democrats who voted against the authorization, 99 are still in Congress. 96 voted to withdraw, and 3 voted against immediate withdrawal. 29 Democrats who voted in favor of authorizing the initial invasion have now changed their minds and voted in favor of immediate withdrawal. Finally, 44 Democrats who were elected to Congress after the 2002 authorization vote, supported immediate withdrawal yesterday.
I think these numbers indicate a positive trend, but still lag behind the opinion of the American public. Those of us who oppose this war need to keep up the pressure on all citizens.
I will continue providing you with updates on the House's progress and I hope that with each vote I report on, we get closer to ending this war.
Contact: Alison M. Mills (617) 621-6208
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