A flood of bills calling for an everything from a rejection of the Bush/McCain escalation to the requirement of separate authorization for any hostilities with Iran have been introduced by both houses, and even by Members from both sides of the aisle. In all, 11 bills have been introduced, dealing with bringing the Iraq war to an end, or preventing a war in Iran. The latest, announced today in a "Dear Colleague" letter (can't resist: quick lesson) by Rep. Jack Murtha, is his reintroduction of his bill in the 109th Congress, H.J. Res. 73. What makes it most poignant, though, is not necessarily the substance, but the corrections, as circulated in his letter:
H. J. RES. 73
To redeploy U.S. forces from Iraq.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
November 17, 2005
Mr. MURTHA introduced the following joint resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International Relations, and in addition to the Committee on Armed Services, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned
To redeploy U.S. forces from Iraq.
Whereas Congress and the American people have not been shown clear, measurable progress toward establishment of stable and improving security in Iraq or of a stable and improving economy in Iraq, both of which are essential to `promote the emergence of a democratic government';
Whereas additional stabilization in Iraq by U.S. military forces cannot be achieved without the deployment of hundreds of thousands of additional U.S. troops, which in turn cannot be achieved without a military draft;
Whereas more than
$277 billion $471 billion has been appropriated by the United States Congress to prosecute U.S. military action in Iraq and Afghanistan;
Whereas, as of the drafting of this resolution,
2,079 U.S. troops 3,020 3,024 US troops have been killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom;
Whereas U.S. forces have become the target of the insurgency;
Whereas, according to recent polls, over
80 percent of the Iraqi people 91% of Sunni Iraqis and 74% of Shiite Iraqis want the U.S. forces out of Iraq;
Whereas polls also indicate that
45 percent 61 percent of the Iraqi people feel that the attacks on U.S. forces are justified; and
Whereas, due to the foregoing, Congress finds it evident that continuing U.S. military action in Iraq is not in the best interests of the United States of America, the people of Iraq, or the Persian Gulf Region, which were cited in Public Law 107-243 as justification for undertaking such action: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That:
SECTION 1. The deployment of United States forces in Iraq, by direction of Congress, is hereby terminated and the forces involved are to be redeployed at the earliest practicable date.
SEC. 2. A quick-reaction U.S. force and an over-the-horizon presence of U.S. Marines shall be deployed in the region.
SEC. 3. The United States of America shall pursue security and stability in Iraq through diplomacy.
That gives us all a sense of how far wrong we've gone, just since Murtha came to the conclusion that something had to be done.
But Murtha's not the only game in town by a long shot. Here's a quick run-down of the 10 other bills that deal with Iraq and/or Iran. Take note, please, of the first such bill introduced and cosponsored by Republicans (and Dems, too, of course): Walter Jones' (R-NC) H. J. Res. 14.
S. 121, introduced on January 4th by Sen. Russ Feingold. The bill would give the Pentagon and State Dept. jointly 60 days to submit a plan for redeployment from Iraq, within 180 days from enactment. Cosponsors: Boxer.
S. 233, introduced on January 9th by Sen. Ted Kennedy. The bill would prohibit funds for any U.S. forces above the number of forces already there as of January 9, 2007, without a specific Congressional authorization for such increase. Cosponsors: Boxer, Brown, Harkin, Kerry, Leahy, Menendez, Sanders.
H.R. 353, introduced on January 9th by Rep. Ed Markey. This is the House counterpart to Kennedy's bill. Cosponsors: Abercrombie, Conyers, DeFazio, Delahunt, DeLauro, Grijalva, Hinchey, Maloney, McDermott, McGovern, Meehan, Olver, Schakowsky, Mike Thompson, Tierney.
H. Res. 41, intruduced on January 9th by Rep. Marty Meehan. A non-binding resolution rejecting the escalation as "the wrong course of action and should not be done without an express authorization for the increase in an Act of Congress." Cosponsors: Abercrombie, Allen, Baldwin, Blumenauer, Capps, Capuano, Conyers, Cummings, DeFazio, Fattah, Frank, Grijalva, Harman, Hinchey, Hirono, Honda, Inslee, Jackson-Lee, Kaptur, Kennedy, Lee, Lewis, Lynch, Markey, McCollum, McGovern, Moran, Neal, Olver, Payne, Rothman, Schakowsky, Smith, Solis, Stark, Tauscher, Watson, Woolsey, Wu.
H. Con. Res. 23, introduced on January 10th by Rep. Dennis Kucinich. A non-binding concurrent resolution expressing the sense of Congress (both Houses) that the President should not order an escalation in Iraq. Cosponsors: Capuano, Carson, Clay, Cohen, Conyers, Cummings, Danny Davis, DeFazio, Doyle, Fattah, Grijalva, Hirono, Holt, Honda, Jackson, Hank Johnson, Kilpatrick, Lee, Lynch, Moore, Nadler, Payne, Rothman, Schakowsky, Serrano, Solis, Stark, Watson, Woolsey, Wu.
H.R. 455, introduced on January 12th by Rep. Jerry Nadler. The bill would require that all DoD funds spent in Iraq within 30 days of enactment, be spent only for the purposes of a safe and orderly withdrawal, to be completed by the end of 2007. Cosponsors: Hinchey.
H.R. 413, introduced on January 11th by Rep. Sam Farr. Repeals the Iraq war resolution of 2002, and requires the President to provide for the withdrawal of troops. Cosponsors: None.
H.R. 438, introduced on January 12th by Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. Prohibits the use of DoD funds to increase the number of troops in Iraq beyond the number already there as of January 1, 2007, without specific authorization from Congress. Cosponsors: Lee.
H. Con. Res. 33, introduced on January 16th by Rep. Peter DeFazio. A non-binding resolution expressing the sense of Congress that the President should not initiate military action against Iran without first obtaining authorization from Congress. The resolution rejects the notion that either the AUMF of 2001 or the Iraq war resolution of 2002 authorize military action against Iran, and affirms that explicit authorization for military action is not discretionary, but a legal and constitutional requirement. Cosponsors: Blumenauer, Corrine Brown, Capuano, Conyers, Cummings, Doggett, Farr, Holt, Hooley, Kucinich, Lee, McCollum, McGovern, Murtha, Payne, Rothman, Stark, Mike Thompson, Woolsey.
H.J. Res. 14, introduced on January 12th by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC). A binding resolution that rejects the suggestion that any prior provision of law authorizes an attack against Iran, and provides that absent an or a demonstrably imminent attack by Iran, any use of force against Iran would require Congressional authorization. Cosponsors: Abercrombie, DeFazio, Duncan (R-TN), Gilchrest (R-MD), Kucinich, Larson, Meehan, Murtha, Neal, Paul (R-TX), Taylor.
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