What: All Issues : War & Peace : Providing the rules of consideration for a fiscal 2007 emergency supplemental spending bill, including a March 2008 deadline for withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq (H.R. 1591)/On passage (2007 house Roll Call 265)
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Providing the rules of consideration for a fiscal 2007 emergency supplemental spending bill, including a March 2008 deadline for withdrawal of combat forces from Iraq (H.R. 1591)/On passage
house Roll Call 265     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.

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.

The bill was controversial primarily 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.

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.), called the conference report "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.

Dreier said that the conference report was simply a "political charade," as President Bush threatened to veto any measure including a timetable for withdrawal, meaning Congress would have to reconsider the funding bill without that language the following week.

Regardless, Democrats were adamant about putting House lawmakers on record, even though they acknowledged in advance that they didn't have the necessary two-thirds of the House to override the president's promised veto. House Appropriations Chairman David R. Obey (D-Wis.) said the intent of the legislation was to send a message to the Iraqi people that the United States will not be a permanent occupier of that country. Regardless of the outcome of this vote, he said, the president and Congress will have to find "a mutually agreed way of extricating ourselves from what has most assuredly become an Iraqi civil war."

The funding bill passed by a relatively close vote of 218 to 208. Thirteen Democrats bucked their party's leadership and voted against the measure, while only two Republicans broke party ranks and supported it. Nonetheless, a fiscal 2007 emergency spending bill that included a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. combat forces from Iraq passed the House and moved to the Senate.

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