House Passes Responsible Redeployment Appropriations Act

The House has just passed the Responsible Redeployment Appropriations Act, H.R. 4156. President Bush has asked Congress for an additional nearly $200 billion for Iraq. The House has instead passed a $50 billion package, instituting a redeployment timeline and other critical directives aimed at transitioning our role in Iraq and bringing our troops home. The bill will:

· Require the start of the redeployment of U.S. forces within 30 days of enactment, with a goal for completion of the redeployment by December 15, 2008.

· Require a transition in the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq from primarily combat to: force protection and diplomatic protection; limited support to Iraqi security forces; and targeted counterterrorism operations.

· Prohibit deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq who are not fully trained and fully equipped;

· Include an extension to all U.S. government agencies and personnel of the current prohibitions in the Army Field Manual against torture.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: “Yet under the President’s plan, and this was expressed by representatives of the Administration on more than one occasion, the President’s plan would bring 30,000 troops — the number of troops that were sent in for the surge — that 30,000 troops would be redeployed back to the United States in July of 2008. So let’s understand this: this means that by July of 2008, we will have the same number of troops in Iraq that we had in November of 2006, when the American people called for a new direction in Iraq. Again, we cannot afford the President’s commitment in Iraq — it traps us, it traps us…”
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