Lipinski Votes to Change President's Iraq Policy and Begin Troop Withdrawal

[WASHINGTON, D.C.] Today, Congressman Dan Lipinski voted for and helped pass a war supplemental funding bill that, if signed into law, would require U.S. troops to begin redeploying from Iraq within 30 days.  The bill also places several other significant conditions on the funding, including key provisions from Rep. Lipinski's Iraq Study Group legislation, aimed at meeting the needs of U.S. troops in the field while drawing down U.S. involvement in Iraq.

"Over 3,800 of our brave soldiers have been killed in Iraq while 28,000 more have been injured, and just this summer I attended the wakes of three brave young soldiers from Illinois who were killed," stated Lipinski. "Clearly, it is past time to change our mission in Iraq and start bringing our troops home.  This bill correctly funds the needs of our troops, begins redeployment, and gives Iraq a great chance for stability.  I am hopeful that the President will sign this sensible legislation."

Besides requiring U.S. troops to begin redeploying from Iraq within 30 days of enactment, this bill would also:

  • Prohibit deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq who are not fully trained and fully equipped;
  • Ensure that all U.S. government agencies and personnel comply with the current prohibitions against torture in the Army Field Manual;
  • Require a transition in the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq from primarily combat to force protection and diplomatic protection, limited support to Iraqi security forces, and targeted counterterrorism operations.

"In June, I helped introduce legislation to implement the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group," said Rep. Lipinski.  "That bill, among other things, requires U.S. troops to shift to counterinsurgency operations and force protection while setting a 2008 goal for withdrawal of all U.S. troops.  I am pleased to see the House finally working to implement these provisions and begin bringing our troops home."

Although President Bush had requested that Congress pass a $200 billion supplemental funding bill to cover the war costs for all of 2008, the House of Representatives instead passed a $50 billion funding bill.  This bill will meet the needs of U.S. troops in the field while ensuring that the President will have to return to Congress within four months to justify further war funding. 

"The Democratic controlled Congress is providing the oversight over the war in Iraq that so was lacking under Republican control," said Rep. Lipinski.  "The Administration and the Iraqi government must be pressured to change their policies if there are going to be results in Iraq.  The conditions attached to this funding bill represent an important step towards bringing stability to Iraq and bringing our troops home."

(November 14, 2007)