What: All Issues : War & Peace : War with Iraq : H. Res. 533, Providing for consideration of legislation requiring a pullout of ground troops from Iraq by April 2008 (H.R. 2956)/On agreeing to the resolution (2007 house Roll Call 621)
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H. Res. 533, Providing for consideration of legislation requiring a pullout of ground troops from Iraq by April 2008 (H.R. 2956)/On agreeing to the resolution
house Roll Call 621     Jul 12, 2007
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Win

This was the final vote on a resolution outlining the rules for consideration of a bill requiring a pullout of combat troops from Iraq by April 2008.

The 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.

Republicans opposed the rules package because the Democratic-controlled Rules Committee proposed what's known as a "closed rule" and allowed for no amendments.

"The House of Representatives today should be prepared to engage in a free and fair debate regarding all of the potential options for the future conduct of combat operations and diplomatic initiatives in Iraq and the broader Middle East," said Rep. Phil English (R-Pa.). Instead, English said, the Democratic-dominated Rules Committee proposed rules for debate that didn't allow any amendments. He added that the legislation could have served as a starting point, but the Democrats had demonstrated that "their motivations are, at core, political."

"The people who bring this rule to the floor today do not allow amendments because they're afraid. They're afraid that some of these amendments might prevail. They're afraid that, given viable alternatives, some Members of their own party will choose cooperation over confrontation," English continued.

Democrats countered that enough was enough with the failed strategy in Iraq, and it was time to make changes, and that they were running the House in much the way Republicans did when they were in power.

"What Democrats are calling for today is not a retreat. It is not a surrender. It is a statement that Congress will not wait for another ambiguous so-called progress report and will not give the administration another chance to move the goalposts," said Rules Chairwoman Louise Slaughter (D-N.Y.). "Instead, we will refuse to needlessly sacrifice our soldiers, weaken our military, undermine our national security, and bleed our country in ways that even the worst terrorists could ever dream of. And it is a statement to the Iraqi people that they will no longer have to live as dual victims: victims of violence and victims of a flawed military strategy that is at best failing to bring peace to the country and at worst perpetuating their suffering."

Republicans were unanimous in their opposition to the resolution. Five Democrats crossed party lines and voted against it, as well. But even with defections among their own ranks, the majority Democrats still had the votes to pass the rules package. Thus, by a vote of 221 to 196, the House passed rules outlining debate for a bill that would require a pullout of combat troops from Iraq by April 2008, paving the way for the bill to come to the floor for a final vote.

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