Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) speaks during a rally at the U.S. Capitol on January 9, 2020 in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for MoveOn.org)

103 Democrats Join GOP in Voting Down Omar Amendment to Accelerate US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

"There are people saying that we shouldn't be too hasty in leaving. Too hasty? It's been two decades."

Jake Johnson

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted down a proposal by Rep. Ilhan Omar to accelerate the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan and help bring to a close the longest war in U.S. history.

The Minnesota Democrat's amendment (pdf) to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) fell by a vote of 129-284, with 103 House Democrats joining 181 Republicans in voting no.

"Endless wars continue to take lives and disable so many. It is long past time to end this war."
—Rep. Ilhan Omar

"We are deeply disappointed by today's vote," Stephen Miles, executive director of Win Without War, told Common Dreams. "The House passed a nearly identical provision several years ago with near unanimous Democratic support."

"Far too many House Democrats wrongly viewed this somehow as a vote on Donald Trump rather than a vote to end our nation's longest war," Miles said. "Frankly, they need to learn to walk and chew gum at the same time. They should be able to oppose Donald Trump and end endless wars all at the same time."

If passed, Omar's amendment would have removed from the House NDAA language inserted by Reps. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) and Jason Crow (D-Colo.) that imposes a series of vague conditions on U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

The Cheney-Crow provisions require that before the number of U.S. troops stationed in Afghanistan can be reduced below 8,000, the Pentagon must certify that withdrawal "will not increase the risk for the expansion of existing or formation of new terrorist safe havens inside Afghanistan" and is "in the best interest of United States national security."

The language was adopted earlier this month with the support of nearly every Democrat on the House Armed Services Committee.

Omar's proposal would have stripped out Cheney and Crow's provisions and added language requiring the withdrawal of the remaining 8,600 U.S. soldiers from Afghanistan by April 29, 2021.

"The withdrawal of the United States Armed Forces from Afghanistan must be accompanied by a long-term peace process that is inclusive of all parties to the conflict and sectors of civil society," the amendment reads.

In a speech on the House floor Monday, Omar addressed critics who alleged the proposal would withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan too quickly.

"There are people saying that we shouldn't be too hasty in leaving," Omar said. "Too hasty? It's been two decades."

This story has been updated with comment from Win Without War.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

US Progressives Express Solidarity With Iranian Protesters After Death of Mahsa Amini

"The right to choose belongs to us all, from hijabs to reproductive care," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Julia Conley ·


Critics of Louisiana LNG Project 'Hopeful' as Huge Sales Contracts Canceled

"The fight is not over," says one activist, but "from tax breaks to pollution and now to these recent financial downswings, we have all the evidence we need to understand that Driftwood will be a parasite."

Jessica Corbett ·


DHS Officials Urge Biden to End 'Disastrous Leadership' of Embattled IG

In an anonymous letter, the Homeland Security staffers say Inspector General Joseph Cuffari's actions "embarrass the entire agency."

Brett Wilkins ·


'Big Climate Win': California to Ban Sale of Gas Heaters and Furnaces by 2030

"This is the first state to do it," noted one advocate. "Who's next?"

Brett Wilkins ·


44 House Democrats Push Biden DOJ to Investigate DeSantis Over 'Cruel Migrant Flights'

"The actions of the officials in Texas and Florida were not only fundamentally cruel and uniquely un-American; there remains a likelihood that federal laws were violated."

Jake Johnson ·

Common Dreams Logo