Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act

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This page is part of Congresspedia’s coverage of Congress and the Iraq War
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Summary (how summaries work)

The Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act (H.R. 4156 - OpenCongress bill info page) was introduced by Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.) on November 13, 2007. The bill appropriated $50 billion of the $196 billion President Bush requested for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, but it also placed several restrictions and conditions on President Bush. The most noted condition was that Bush must redeploy most U.S. troops from Iraq beginning 30 days after the bill’s passage with a goal of full withdrawal by December 15, 2008. [1]



Contents

Current status


House

Democrats initially planned to include $50 billion in funding for the Iraq war as part of the Defense spending bill, but Democratic leaders shifted the "bridge" funding to this bill.[2] The money, coupled with additional Pentagon sources, would fund normal operations in Iraq through March 2008.

Bill summary

Specifically, the bill’s provisions state that:

  • The president must redeploy most U.S. troops from Iraq beginning 30 days after the bill passes and ending by December 15, 2008.
  • Troops can remain in Iraq after December 2008 to
  1. Protect United States diplomatic facilities, United States Armed Forces, and American citizens
  2. Conduct limited training, equipping, and providing logistical and intelligence support to Iraqi Security forces
  3. Engage in targeted counterterrorism operations against al-Qaeda, affiliated groups, and other terrorist organizations in Iraq
  • The administration is banned from using federal funds to establish permanent bases in Iraq or assert U.S. control over Iraq’s oil supply.
  • The President is prohibited from deploying any military unit to Iraq until he has certified in writing that the unit is “fully mission capable” to the House and Senate Appropriations and Armed Services Committees.
  • United States personnel, including C.I.A. operatives, are prohibited from using any interrogation technique or treating prisoners in any way not authorized by the U.S. Army Field Manual.
  • The use of funds is forbidden to contravene the U.N. conventions on torture.[3]

Actions

November 14, 2007
Passed, 218-203, view details
Dem: 214-15 in favor, GOP: 188-4 opposed, Ind:

On November 8, a group of conservative House Democrats scuttled plans to vote on the measure in mid-November, over objections to the language calling for troop withdrawals.[4]

A second attempt to vote occurred on November 14. The bill passed 218-203, with one member voting present. Republican Reps. Phil English (Pa.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Christopher Shays (Conn.), and James Walsh (N.Y.) joined 214 Democrats in favor of the bill. English and Walsh had previously never sided with Democrats on war funding measures. Fifteen conservative Democrats and five liberal Democrats voted against the bill.[5][6]

Democrats defeated a Republican motion to recommit, which would have sent a $50 billion bill without restrictions to Bush. The motion failed by 192-231 with seven Democrats in favor and eight Republicans opposing it. [7]

Senate

Senate Republicans leaders said they would allow a vote on the House bill only if they could offer their own version, $70 billion without the restrictions of the Democratic bill. Senate aides for both parties said the debate was likely to continue into December, but Republicans were expected to eventually give Bush a chance to veto the bill.[8]

Senate vote failed

November 16. 2007
Failed, 53-45, view details
Dem: 48-1 in favor, GOP: 43-4 opposed, Ind: 1-1

On November 16, 2007 Senate Republicans blocked the bill with a vote of 53-45 in favor, seven short of the 60 votes needed. A Republican alternate proposal, which provided $70 billion with no conditions, was rejected 53-45. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) said he may bring the bill back to the floor in December. He and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) had said they decided in May 2007, following a previous Democratic spending bill with withdrawal conditions, that President Bush would not receive more war funding in 2007 unless he accepted the Democratic terms. White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that that was out of the questions and he dismissed the Democratic bill vote as a political stunt.[9]

In the meantime, Reid and Pelosi said, the Pentagon could draw from its $471 billion annual budget to cover war expenses. Fratto said the funding crunch could hurt military efforts, including the training of Iraqi forces. Republicans said they expected to win the funding showdown eventually, as they did the summer of 2007, because of the Democrats’ slim 51-49 majority in the Senate.[10]

Veto threat

White House Press Secretary Dana Perino promised a veto and accused Democrats of ignoring gains in Iraq. "This is for political posturing and to appease radical groups," Perino said. [11][12]

Articles and resources

See also

References

  1. Elizabeth Williamson, "House Approves Bill Linking War Funds, Troop Withdrawals," The Washington Post, November 15, 2007.
  2. Peter Cohn, with Christian Bourge, Dems to leave Iraq bridge fund out of first spending package, Congress Daily, provided by GovernmentExecutive.com, October 30, 2007
  3. Text of H.R. 4156, The Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act, 2008
  4. Christian Bourge and Peter Cohn, Conservative House Dems delay vote on Iraq funding bill, Congress Daily, provided by GovernmentExecutive.com, November 9, 2007
  5. Jonathan E. Kaplan, "Dems pass Iraq finding bill," The Hill, November 14, 2007.
  6. David M. Herszenhorn, "House Approves Funds for Military, With Strings," The New York Times, November 15, 2007.
  7. Jonathan E. Kaplan, "Dems pass Iraq finding bill," The Hill, November 14, 2007.
  8. Elizabeth Williamson, "House Approves Bill Linking War Funds, Troop Withdrawals," The Washington Post, November 15, 2007.
  9. Shailagh Murray, "Funding Bill for Iraq War Falls Short in Senate Vote," The Washington Post, November 17, 2007.
  10. Shailagh Murray, "Funding Bill for Iraq War Falls Short in Senate Vote," The Washington Post, November 17, 2007.
  11. Elizabeth Williamson, "House Approves Bill Linking War Funds, Troop Withdrawls," The Washington Post, November 15, 2007.
  12. David M. Herszenhorn, "House Approves Funds for Military, With Strings," The New York Times, November 15, 2007.

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