What: All Issues : War & Peace : War with Iraq : Providing for consideration of the fiscal 2007 emergency supplemental spending bill, including a March 2008 deadline for withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq (H.R. 1591)/On adoption of the rules package (H. Res. 332) (2007 house Roll Call 264)
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Providing for consideration of the fiscal 2007 emergency supplemental spending bill, including a March 2008 deadline for withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq (H.R. 1591)/On adoption of the rules package (H. Res. 332)
house Roll Call 264     Apr 25, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on adoption of the rules for consideration for an "emergency" supplemental spending bill for the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, among other measures. The appropriations bill - $124.2 billion for fiscal 2007 that included language calling for the redeployment of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 2008 - was in the form of a conference report, a compromise package put together by lawmakers from the House and Senate after both chambers had passed similar but not identical versions of the various pieces of legislation combined in this measure.

This resolution outlined the rules for debate for the legislation, including how much floor time would be granted to each side and which amendments would be considered in order. The resolution is thus commonly known as the rules package.

The underlying bill to which the rules package would govern debate of was controversial because it included a timeline for withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq by the end of March 2008 if the president could certify that the Iraq government is meeting certain benchmarks and by the end of 2007 if he could not.

In addition to $95.5 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, the conference report also included $6.8 billion for hurricane recovery and relief efforts, $3.5 billion in crop and livestock disaster assistance and $2.25 billion for homeland security anti-terrorism programs. It also would raise the minimum wage to $7.25 per hour over the next two years and provide $4.8 billion in small-business tax incentives.

Debate about the rules package was entirely focused on the contents of the legislation itself, specifically the timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.

Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.) said, "After four years of the administration's relentless mismanagement of the Iraq war, mismanagement that has needlessly endangered our soldiers and lost countless Iraqi lives, this new Democratic Congress is determined to exercise our constitutional duty and to change the nation's course in Iraq."

The ranking Republican on the Rules Committee, Rep. David Dreier (Calif.), expressed his "strongest opposition to both this rule and the underlying conference report," which he described as implementing "a policy of failure."

"It is nothing more than a cheap attempt to score political points at a time when the American people have understandably become very weary of war," Dreier added.

On an almost complete party-line vote, the House passed the rules of consideration for the conference report. Only one Republican voted with all but three Democrats in passing the resolution. Thus, by a vote of 226 to 195, the House adopted the rules package for a fiscal 2007 supplemental spending bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that called for a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 2008, and the paved the way to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote.

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