Yesterday's House-passed bill providing $50 billion for Iraq, which also requires the president to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 30 days of passage, with a goal of having American combat troops out of Iraq by Dec. 15, 2008, has drawn strange bedfellows.
U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-WI, 1st District, joined other Republicans in voting no, because the Democratic-sponsored measure gives President Bush only one-quarter of the $200 billion he requested, and because of that withdrawal deadline. Ryan's statement is HERE.
"The bill is the latest in a series of politically driven, and ultimately unsuccessful, votes to set specific withdrawal dates or otherwise take steps that limit U.S. commanders’ ability to fight and prevail in the war in Iraq," Ryan said.
Today, Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI, a longtime opponent of U.S. engagement in Iraq, also came out against the House bill, saying it is too weak.
Feingold spoke in support of his own legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, to end funding for the Iraq war once U.S. troops are safely redeployed by June 30, 2008. Feingold's remarks to the Senate can be heard here: MP3
The House bill, which passed on a 218 - 203 largely party-line vote, does not do enough to end the war and bring U.S. troops home, according to Feingold.
Today, with Sen. Reid’s support, he will seek a vote on his bill in advance of the Senate’s consideration of the supplemental spending bill passed by the House yesterday
“The Iraq bill passed by the House is too weak and doesn’t ensure the timely redeployment of our troops from Iraq,” Feingold said. “It’s not good enough to have a redeployment ‘goal’ instead of a binding end date. Every day, this disastrous war saps our ability to focus on al Qaeda, and its affiliates around the globe, which are the real threat to our national security.”
The Feingold-Reid legislation requires the vast majority of U.S. troops to be redeployed from Iraq by June 30, 2008, with a few narrow exceptions.