Legislation has been introduced by Democrats in both the House and the Senate that would achieve a withdrawal from Iraq by 2008. President Bush has already indicated that he would veto any such bills if they were to pass, claiming that a withdrawal date would weaken military efforts, the Washington Post reports.
The House version of the bill, introduced by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), would require President Bush to prove that the Iraqi government is meeting certain military, political, and economic standards. If Bush fails to demonstrate these achievements and indicators of progress, then all troops would be withdrawn between July and December of this year. The bill would also give Congress control of all military action in Iran. In an effort to gain bipartisan support, Democrats have included additional funds that Republicans had previously requested for Gulf Coast recovery efforts, homeland security, and military healthcare.
“This bill takes giant steps towards putting resources into that war, a war that is unfinished and nearly forgotten by the administration,” said Speaker Pelosi.
The Senate version of the legislation would call for the President to immediately begin gradual withdrawal of the troops from Iraq and would require full removal by March 31, 2008. Even though public support for Bush and his Iraq plan have declined, Republicans have remained supportive of the President, making it difficult for Democrats to gain the needed bipartisan support, the Washington Post reports. Still, Democrats believe that the legislation will apply much-needed pressure to the Bush administration to end the war in Iraq, the New York Times reports. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), who introduced the legislation, said that he plans to bring the resolution to the floor on Tuesday.