A top Senate Democrat introduced legislation that would require US President George W. Bush to get congressional approval before sending additional US troops to Iraq.
In a statement, the office of Senator Chris Dodd said the original US military mission in Iraq, which Congress authorized in 2002, "has been radically transformed by events in the region," and that Bush therefore must seek an entirely new authorization from the US legislature before expanding it.
Dodd, a Democratic candidate for the 2008 presidential election, proposed his bill after Bush unveiled last week plans to send 21,500 more soldiers to Iraq -- a move which has been met with fierce opposition from Democrats in Congress.
Democratic leaders of both chambers of the US legislature were also weighing a symbolic bill condemning the troop increase.
Democrats took control of the House and Senate in January, two months after their election victory, which was largely attributed to voter anger over the Republican administration's handling of the war.
In his statement, Dodd, who said Congress authorization of the Iraq war more than four years ago is now "moot and irrelevant," said his bill would cap the number of US troops in Iraq at 130,000.
Meanwhile, senior Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy continued to promote draft legislation requiring Bush to get congressional approval before receiving additional funding for troops in Iraq.
And in the House, liberal Democratic representatives Lynn Woolsey, Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters introduced a bill calling for a complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq within six months.
They said their bill, dubbed "The Bring the Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act," would repeal congressional authorization for the use of force in Iraq.
The lawmakers called their legislation a "comprehensive alternative to the administration's 'New Way Forward'" bolstering US forces in Iraq.
Their bill also would also force the withdrawal from Iraq of US military contractors, and would prohibit permanent US military bases there, while continuing economic and political aid to the country.
Copyright © 2007 AFP