Tonight Republicans, led by Rep. Jerry Lewis, attempted to strip provisions in the Iraq Accountability Act holding the Iraqi government accountable and providing for a responsible redeployment from Iraq before it goes to conference committee for reconciliation with the Senate version of the emergency supplemental. Republicans offered a motion to recommit the bill reasserting the timelines, which the Republicans voted against, hoping that Democrats would join them. House Democrats overwhelmingly voted to retain the timelines in the bill, which will now proceed to conference committee. Appropriations Chairman David Obey spoke on the floor:
Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey:
Let me put it another way. When the bill was before us the first time, our Republican friends did not bother to offer a recommital motion. Why? Because they were divided about how to proceed. They could reach no agreement. They had no policy. Now they are offering a motion which they say they’re going to vote against. Is that the best they can do? We’ve heard talk about a surrender date. The only surrender that’s involved here today is the surrender of the obligation of this Congress to oversee presidential and executive branch policy. The only surrender is the total surrender of our obligation and our authority to a White House that has demonstrated from day one that it had not a clue of what it was getting into and today has not a clue about how to get out. We have to provide better leadership than that. That’s what this bill tries to do.
The following Democrats will serve as conferees:
Rep. Wasserman Schultz
Rep. Price (NC)