What: All Issues : War & Peace : War with Iraq : To provide for the redeployment and withdrawal of U.S. armed forces and military contractors from Iraq within 90 days of enactment (H.R. 2237)/Motion to recommit with instructions that language be added stating that the decision to withdraw should be based on protection of members of the armed forces, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. embassy (2007 house Roll Call 329)
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To provide for the redeployment and withdrawal of U.S. armed forces and military contractors from Iraq within 90 days of enactment (H.R. 2237)/Motion to recommit with instructions that language be added stating that the decision to withdraw should be based on protection of members of the armed forces, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. embassy
house Roll Call 329     May 10, 2007
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Win

This vote was on whether to force a vote on an amendment to legislation to begin redeploying and withdrawing U.S. armed forces and military contractors from Iraq within 90 days of enactment. The withdrawal would have to be completed within 180 days of enactment. Republicans sought to add language to the bill to state that the determination to withdrawal should be based on a number of factors, including protection of members of the armed forces, the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. embassy.

A motion to recommit with instructions is the minority's last chance to make substantive changes to a bill before a final up-or-down vote on the measure. If a motion to recommit succeeds, the bill goes back to its committee of origin and language is added to reflect the instructions adopted.

Rep. Jim Saxton (R-N.J.) offered the motion. He said the legislation would have a "devastating impact on our ability to fight terrorism here and abroad and would have severe security impacts, not only in Iraq but throughout the Middle East and the entire region."

Saxton said his motion would "ensure that when we withdraw from Iraq, we do so based on the conditions on the ground." He added that a premature withdrawal could embolden al Qaeda and forces for destabilization in the region, including Iran.

Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) complained that the minority did not give the majority a chance to review the motion before it was offered, but he said it was immediately apparent to him that its purpose was simply to prevent lawmakers from voting on the underlying bill.

"It is designed to gut the bill by adding two additional conditions that would enable our troops to stay in Iraq indefinitely," Obey said. "Those conditions make reference to the regional security of the Middle East and the national security interest of the United States. That language is so broad that virtually any deployment of any armed force could be justified under that language."

Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) added that the motion was "yet another cynical attempt to try to avoid dealing with the issue that I think both Democrats and Republicans want to deal with, and that is whether or not we should have a timetable for withdrawal and redeployment from Iraq."

All but two Republicans voted to send the spending bill back to committee with specific directions to include the language, but Democrats were near unanimous in their opposition; only 13 Democrats voted for it. The motion to recommit with instructions failed by a vote of 210 to 218, and the House thus rejected a provision that would have included conditions for troop redeployment in legislation to require the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq within 90 days of enactment. A bill to set a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from that country proceeded without amendment.

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