58 Votes on Iraq War This Year: Why? Republicans Ask

July 7, 2008 - 7:32 PM

(CNSNews.com) - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced on Thursday that she will bring another troops-out-of-Iraq bill to the House floor on Friday.

It will be the 58th "politically motivated" bill on the Iraq war by the House and Senate this year, Republicans complained.

"We are restating the differentiation between us and the president of the United States," Pelosi said at a press conference. "This gives voice to the desires of the American people," she said of the bill, which ties war funding ($50 billion for four months) to an immediate troop withdrawal.

"This is not a blank check for the president," Pelosi said.

House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) criticized Democrats for refusing to recognize the important of the U.S. military mission as well as the "tremendous progress we've made against all odds in capturing and killing agents of terror, and providing a level of security for political reconciliation to take place.

"This bill is deja-vu all over again," Blunt said. "The last time Democrats tried to tie funding for our troops to a date for surrender, they failed - and that was before the marked turn-around we've witnessed on the ground over the past several months."

On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that American forces have routed Al Qaeda in Iraq from every neighborhood of Baghdad, according to a top American general - "allowing American troops involved in the 'surge' to depart as planned."

The newspaper quoted Maj. Gen. Joseph F. Fil Jr., commander of United States forces in Baghdad, as saying, "there's just no question" that violence had declined since a spike in June.

"General Fil attributed the decline to improvements in the Iraqi security forces, a cease-fire ordered by the Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, the disruption of financing for insurgents, and, most significant, Iraqis' rejection of 'the rule of the gun,'" the New York Times said.

Terrible timing

The upbeat assessment from the New York Times and other major newspapers had some Republicans questioning the Democrats' timing:

Blunt said the House on Friday would be taking up a bill "that has far less to do with building on our continued progress, and far more to do with pandering to their (Democrats') base."

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) issued a statement on Thursday questioning the continuing Democratic push for a troop withdrawal.

"What unfortunate timing for Democrats, announcing yet another attempt at a withdrawal date on a day when the papers are filled with encouraging news from Iraq," McConnell said.

President Bush vetoed a bill tying war funding to a troop withdrawal in May, and he undoubtedly would do so again, given the chance. Some troops withdrawal bills, facing the prospect of a presidential veto, have not mustered enough support to pass the Senate.

See Earlier Stories:
Bush to Dems: Here's Your Chance to Support the Troops (Oct. 23, 2007)
Anti-War Dems Promise Troop Withdrawal Effort (6 Sept. 2007)
Bush Vetoes Military Spending Bill (May 1, 2007)


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