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Senator Russ Feingold

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JANUARY 31, 2007
3:09 PM

CONTACT: Senator Russ Feingold
202/224-5323

 
Feingold Introduces Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007
Legislation Would Use Congress’s Power of the Purse to Redeploy Most U.S. Troops Out of Iraq in Six Months
 

WASHINGTON - January 31 - U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007. Feingold’s bill uses Congress’s power of the purse to force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq by prohibiting funds for continued operations six months after enactment. Feingold’s legislation allows for specific operations to continue in Iraq beyond six months, including counter-terrorism efforts, protection of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and training of Iraqi security forces. The six-month timeframe provides the President with adequate time to safely redeploy the troops from Iraq.

“By passing my legislation, Congress can respond to the will of the American people and force the President to safely bring our forces out of Iraq,” Feingold said. “With the President set on pursuing his failed policies in Iraq, Congress has the duty to stand up and use its power to stop him. If Congress doesn’t stop this war, it’s not because it doesn’t have the power -- it’s because it doesn’t have the will.”

Feingold’s bill is the latest effort in his long record of opposing the President’s flawed Iraq policy. In August 2005, Feingold, who opposed the authorization to use force in Iraq, became the first Senator to propose a timeline to bring an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq. Yesterday, Feingold chaired a full Judiciary Committee hearing where a diverse panel of constitutional scholars testified that Congress does indeed have the power to end a war.

“From the beginning, this war has been a mistake, and the policies that have carried it out have been a failure,” Feingold said. “Congress must not allow the President to continue a war that has already come at such a terrible cost. We have the constitutional authority and the moral responsibility to end our involvement in Iraq so we can refocus on those who attacked us on 9/11.”

Read the bill here.

FACT SHEET: IRAQ REDEPLOYMENT ACT OF 2007

“…Congress can, and has, used the power of the purse to restrict presidential war power. If members of Congress are worried about American troops fighting for their lives in a futile war, those lives are not protected by voting for continued funding. The proper and responsible action is to terminate appropriations and bring the troops home.”

- Louis Fisher, Specialist in Constitutional Law, Law Library of Congress, in his book “Presidential War Power.”

Feingold’s legislation:

  • Prohibits the use of funds for continued deployment of U.S. Armed Forces to the Republic of Iraq after six months of enactment. In other words, the President would have to redeploy troops safely by that date.
  • Requires the Administration to report to Congress, within 60 days of enactment, a strategy for safely redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq within the six months prior to the fund termination date.

  • Provides specific exceptions to the prohibition for:

    • Conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations in Iraq.

    • Allowing a limited number of U.S. forces to conduct specific training for Iraqi security services.

    • Providing security for U.S. infrastructure and civilian personnel.

  • Does not prohibit funds for any department or agency of the Government of the United States to carry out political, economic, or general reconstruction activities in Iraq.

  • Does not prevent any U.S. troops from receiving salaries, equipment, training and other resources.

On numerous occasions, Congress has exercised its constitutional authority to end military engagements. Here are just a few examples:

Cambodia – In late December 1970, Congress passes the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Appropriations Act prohibiting the use of funds to finance the introduction of United States ground combat troops into Cambodia or to provide U.S. advisors to or for Cambodian military forces in Cambodia.

Vietnam – In late June 1973, Congress passes the second Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY1973. This legislation contains language cutting off funds for combat activities in Vietnam after August 15, 1973.

Somalia – In November 1993, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act includes a provision that prohibits funding after March 31, 1994 for military operations in Somalia, except for a limited number of military personnel to protect American diplomatic personnel and American citizens, unless further authorized by Congress.

Bosnia – In 1998, Congress passes the Defense Authorization Bill, with a provision that prohibits funding for Bosnia after June 30, 1998, unless the President makes certain assurances.

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