Feingold and Reid Propose Legislation to End War

Following is a press release from Russ Feingold’s office regarding a proposal to redeploy troops out of Iraq. This appears to be a much better approach than the arguments of many bloggers (which led to the attacks on Obama following his interviews with AP and CNN discussed in the last post), along with John Edwards, to tie opposition to the war to spending bills. We need Senate Democrats to strongly oppose the war, but they must also be cautious of giving ammunition to Republicans who raise bogus charges of cutting off funds to support the troops. The plan makes clear the distinction between cutting off current funds for the troops and limiting future funding to safely redeploying the troops out of Iraq.

Following is the press release from Russ Feingold:

April 2, 2007

Washington D.C. -­ U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”

“I am delighted to be working with the Majority Leader to bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end,” Feingold said. “Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security. By ending funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy, our bill requires the President to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq.”

The language of the legislation reads:

(a) Transition of Mission – The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq – The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds – No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited Purposes – The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.

(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.

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7 Comments

  1. 1
    Winston Smith says:

    Bush will find a way around this legislation. He will do another one of his famous signing statements and basically ignore it.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    More likely he’ll veto it. However by later this year I wouldn’t be surprised if enough Repubicans abandon Bush for such a measure to pass. He might ignore it, but that would also be clear and unequivocal grounds for impeachment which even the Republicans in Congress might not ignore if such a measure is passed with a veto-proof majority.

  3. 3
    battlebob says:

    If Bush vetos the funding, he has no more money and will be forced to bring the troops home.
    A Dem compromise is the Feingold bill wich allows money to maintain troop security while they are leaving.

    If Dems hang tough, they can end this thing.
    Each side is trying to back the other side into a corner.

  4. 4
    Ron Chusid says:

    Battlebob,

    We have two issues here. One is getting out of Iraq. Either allowing the funding to end following a veto or a reasonable compromise such as Feingold’s will accomplish this.

    The other issue is how we get out, including the political ramifications. We don’t want a situation such as after Vietnam where Republicans benefited politicaly. Unlike VIetnam where both Democrats and Republican Presidents fought the war, Iraq is the full responsibility of the Republicans, and they should be the ones to pay the price. We don’t want them to get away with a political victory by accusing Democrats of abandoning the troops.

    There is certainly room for discussion of these issues among opponents of the war. I personally prefer to avoid getting involved in debates over the best approach for ending the war between those who agree with ending the war. What I do object to is when someone like Kos unfairly attacks someone like Obama over a minor difference in approach, as I discusse in my previous post. It doesn’t help the anti-war effort to recreate the circular firing squad among opponents of the war. We already went through this once.

    Regarding my comment above that there is hope that later this year there will be enough Republican support to sustain a veto on a measure such as this, note this post from this morning. Republcan Senators may only be willing to give Bush until August before ending support for the war. I wish they wouldn’t even give him this long, but if true this is still very encouraging.

  5. 5
    battlebob says:

    Ron,
    We can only make the situation worse by staying. There is no outcome that doesn’t include folks dieing.
    We should only fund evacuation and when the locals decide to stop killing each other, then fund the reconstruction.
    We need to close all the bases we built and leave their oil alone.
    As Lind says, this thing was lost before we invaded.

  6. 6
    Ron Chusid says:

    Battlebob,

    Getting out is the whole point of proposals such as this. We also must consider the political realities and what can be accomplished . Any legislation to redeploy the troops must make it clear that the troops are not being abandoned as the Republicans claim.

  7. 7
    battlebob says:

    Actually it is the Repubs who are abandoning the troops.
    Murtha has the best idea. Get them out but nearby.

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