Senate Leadership Adopts Iraq Legislation with Same Goal for Redeployment as Obama Plan
On Thursday, the Senate Democratic Leadership announced an Iraq redeployment plan that sets a goal for redeploying American combat brigades by March 31, 2008, the same date proposed by Senator Barack Obama in the Iraq De-escalation Act introduced in January. The leadership plan further mirrors the Obama legislation, ensuring that the training of Iraqi forces continues, our troops remain protected during their redeployment, and that counter-terrorism activities proceed.
"The leadership's decision to set a March 31, 2008 target date for the redeployment of American troops from Iraq is a major step forward in changing the President's failed Iraq policy," said Senator Barack Obama. "Our military options have been exhausted, and it is time to seek a political solution to this war. I agree with Senator Reid that we must initiate redeployment in a responsible manner that does not limit our options in Iraq, ensuring that our troops and our interests in the region are protected."
In addition to Senate Leadership's support for a March 31 redeployment target date, the House version of the Iraq De-escalation Act sponsored by Representatives Patrick Murphy (D-PA) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) has gained the support 57 cosponsors, including 3 Republicans.
The Obama Plan and the Leadership Plan Share Key Provisions:
Obama Legislation - The redeployment of the Armed Forces under this section shall be substantial, shall occur in a gradual manner, and shall be executed at a pace to achieve the goal of the complete redeployment of all United States combat brigades from Iraq by March 31, 2008, consistent with the expectation of the Iraq Study Group, if all the matters set forth in subsection (b)(1)(B) are not met by such date, subject to the exceptions for retention of forces for force protection, counter-terrorism operations, training of Iraqi forces, and other purposes as contemplated by subsection (g). (S. 433, introduced January 30, 2007)
Leadership Legislation - The President shall commence the phased redeployment of the United States forces from Iraq not later than 120 days after the enactment of this joint resolution, with the goal of redeploying, by March 31, 2008, all United States combat forces from Iraq except for a limited number that are essential for the following purposes: protecting United States and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations.