U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007

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This page is part of Congresspedia’s coverage of Congress and the Iraq War
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Following the precedent of the previous few years, President Bush excluded funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan from the regular 2007 defense budget, requiring Congress to pass a separate, supplemental bill to pay for them. Beginning in March 2007, Democratic leaders in both the House and Senate began considering bills which would provide nearly $100 billion for U.S. military operations in Iraq through the end of the 2007 fiscal year ending on Sept. 30, 2007. The price Democrats wanted, however, was that the U.S. begin withdrawing troops in 2007 and call for a full combat withdrawal in 2008.

The first bill to provide supplemental funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan was the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act of 2007 (H.R.1591). It was introduced in March 2007 by House Democrats and cost $124 billion, with $95.5 billion to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan for the remainder of fiscal year and the remainder in domestic spending. It also called for the complete withdrawal of U.S. combat soldiers from Iraq by September 1, 2008. The House passed their bill in March along party lines.

Senate Democrats began work on a supplemental funding bill similar to the House's that required a withdrawal to begin in summer 2007 with a non-binding goal of withdrawing most troops by March 31, 2008.

In conference, Democrats negotiated a compromise bill that required Bush to certify that Iraq was making progress towards the benchmarks he laid out at the beginning of the "surge" by July 1. If no progress was being made, Bush would be required to begin withdrawing troops then and if progress was being made then troops would begin being withdrawn on Oct. 1. Non-binding "goals" for the removal of most troops (excepting troops for protecting U.S. personnel and training Iraqi forces) were set for Dec. 31 and April 1, respectively, depending on whether the benchmarks were being met. An increase in the minimum wage and $29 billion in domestic spending was included.

Bush vetoed the bill on May 1, 2007 and House Democrats failed a vote to override the veto.

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