Wednesday, April 25, 2007

House OKS troop withdrawal bill

The House has passed the conference committee version of the war-funding bill, complete with veto-attracting timetables. Two Republicans voted for the bill. 13 Democrats voted against -- six of them because it didn't go far enough. It goes to the Senate tomorrow, and could hit Bush's desk by Monday. If it reaches his desk: he might just scrawl "return to sender" across the front and give it back to the Congressional courier.

The details for the curious:

The bill passed yesterday sets strict requirements for resting, training and equipping troops but would grant the president the authority to waive those restrictions, as long as he publicly justifies the waivers. The bill also establishes benchmarks for the Iraqi government to meet: Create a program to disarm militias, reduce sectarian violence, ease rules that purged the government of all former Baath Party members and approve a law on sharing oil revenue.

Unless the Bush administration determines by July 1 that those benchmarks are being met, troops would begin coming home immediately, with a goal of completing those withdrawals by the end of the year. If benchmarks are being met, troops would begin coming home no later than Oct. 1, with a goal of completing the troop pullout by April 1.

After combat forces are withdrawn, some troops could remain to protect U.S. facilities and diplomats, pursue terrorist organizations, and train and equip Iraqi security forces.

As well, Congress killed some of the $20 billion in pork they had padded the legislation with. They should have killed it all, especially given that Bush's promised veto makes it moot. Pork greases the wheels of politics, but $20 billion is just obscene.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right. It was stupid on the Democrats part NOT to strip ALL of the pork out---knowing that Bush is going to veto it anyway. Now, it's just one more way their bill looks really, really bad. Not a good public relations move.


4/26/2007 8:51 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

Might not be pretty but it is a start. Found a nice video recap here:

4/26/2007 10:47 AM  

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