This past fall, Americans sent a clear message demanding change in Iraq. I came to Congress for one resounding reason: support our troops by ending the war and bringing them home.
The first of what will likely be many steps to end the war occurred on March 23, 2007 when I, along with 217 of my colleagues, voted for the Iraq Veterans' Health & Iraq War Accountability Supplemental bill. While this bill was far from ideal, I resolved that voting for this bill was a vote to end this war. However, this initial measure to end the war was vetoed by President Bush on May 2, 2007.
On May 10, 2007, I voted in support of H.R. 2237, the Iraq Redeployment Act . The legislation required the Department of Defense to begin redeployment of military forces no later than 90 days after the date of enactment of the legislation and shall be completed within 180 days of the start of redeployment. Additionally, no funds could be obligated or expanded to increase the number of American troops serving in Iraq as of January 1, 2007. Although the Iraq Redeployment Act failed, the votes that were gathered expressed that Congress is progressing toward ending the occupation of Iraq . The 171 votes garnered through the bill showed President Bush and Iraqi leaders that Congress is willing to significantly reduce the American military presence in Iraq .
On May 24, 2007, I voted against the final bill providing emergency supplemental appropriations for the Iraq War fiscal year through September 2007. I voted against the supplemental appropriations bill because the legislation did not contain concrete timelines for the withdrawal of American troops from Iraq . Although I opposed the supplemental appropriations, the measure passed by a vote of 280-142, on May 24, 2007.