to link defence spending to troop withdrawal in US Congress
16 November 2007
Democrats and president Bush are all set to lock horns over Iraq once again with
the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives and the Senate expected to
vote on a measure linking a certain portion of defence budgetary allocations,
asked for by the president for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, with
a new time table to withdraw US forces from Iraq by next year.
plan to bring to the floor of the House a measure that would give the president
a bridge fund for military operations, of about $50 billion of the $196 billion
he sought earlier this year, with the caveat that the president begin redeploying
US forces from Iraq within 30 days, with the ultimate goal of pulling most combat
troops out by December 15, 2008.
The measure would also
restrict the US military mission to force protection, counter-terrorism and training
of Iraqi security forces.
The president has previously rejected all attempts
by the Democratic-controlled Congress to attach language calling for any kind
of timetable for withdrawal, and for that reason, the Democrats may ultimately
be forced to remove the provision.
Democratic leader Steny Hoyer made a direct appeal to Senate Republican leader
Mitch McConnell, urging him not to block the measure. "We would very sincerely
hope that Senator McConnell and the Republicans in the US Senate would allow the
will of the American people to be reflected on the floor of the US Senate."
A report issued
by Democrats Tuesday estimated that the overall economic cost to Americans of
the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan would reach $1.6 trillion by next year:
For his part, Republican Senator McConnell made it clear that Republicans had
no intention of going along with the Democratic effort, saying he would use Senate
procedures to push for a clean bill for military operations.
against the Democrat's $50-billion measure with withdrawal and other provisions,
Republicans are expected to cite recent positive reports about declining violence
their side, Democrats are expected to point to the fact that 2007 remains the
deadliest year for American forces, especially in their operations in Iraq.
reports on Defence
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