The House is currently debating HR 2956, the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act. The legislation, sponsored by Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, would begin the responsible redeployment of U.S. troops within 120 days and complete redeployment by April 1, 2008. The President would have to report to Congress why troops should remain in Iraq for limited purposes such as to fight terrorism or to train Iraqi forces.
Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-25) spoke during the debate on the rule.
“We were assured that progress was being made in Iraq 500 deaths ago, 1,000 deaths ago, 2,000 deaths ago, 3,000 deaths ago. Like the boy who cried wolf, this President cries progress. What progress? With all of this talk about benchmarks, I think that it is time to get off the bench and bring our troops home now with a responsible, safe, redeployment.”
The rule has now passed and debate on the bill itself has begun.
|Chairman Ike Skelton:
“Mr. Speaker, we have been engaged in Iraq since March of 2003. In hearing discussion on the rule, it’s obvious that some people wish to confuse the effort in Afghanistan with the effort in Iraq. They are separate and distinct. The war in Afghanistan is something that we needed to do. The Taliban government gave sanctuary to the Al Qaeda terrorists in that country of Afghanistan and we did the right thing by going in there. The war in Iraq is one of choice.”
|Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee:
“As I listen to the Secretary of the Homeland Security speak about his ‘gut’ feeling of the possibility of a terrorist attack – I am a Member of that Committee. I live every day with the idea that the question will be asked by Americans to the Homeland Security Department: does the Secretary realize that we have fueled the fires of terrorism by training terrorists in this war? And so when I speak of why we must end, it is to save lives, it is to reconcile Iraq and it is to make America safer.”
|Rep. Chris Van Hollen:
“The article describes how on the same day last November, the Baker-Hamilton Commission received two starkly different portrayals of what was happening in Iraq. One came from President Bush, who portrayed a rosy picture. And the other came from the man who President Bush put in charge of the CIA, General Hayden, who was responsible for basing his analysis on clear-eyed and cold facts – analysis. And what he reported by told the Commission, and I quote, instability of the Iraqi government was ‘irreversible.’”