From CLW Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq

I am not sure this is as good news as the Council for a Livable World seems
to think, Congress still has not exercised its right to control the purse,
but I thought you should see this. Val

Good news came last week when the House Appropriations Committee voted 36-28 to endorse a Democratic proposal to require the withdrawal of U.S. combat
troops by September 1, 2008, and sooner still if tangible advances towards
peace and Iraqi responsibility are not achieved. The proposal was attached
to the $124 billion Supplemental Appropriations bill, which now moves to the
full House and will be voted on this Thursday. It is crucial that this bill
pass. The defeat of the Supplemental Appropriations bill would give Bush and
Cheney a free hand to wage war as they see fit.

Therefore, please call or write your Representative through our website
(www.clw.org) to tell them to support the House Supplemental Appropriations
Bill and its plan to set a timetable.

News from the Senate was not as good as the House. The Senate voted 48-50
against a measure introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to
begin withdrawing troops from Iraq within 120 days and to establish a goal
of pulling out most troops from Iraq by March 31, 2008. While not a clear
victory, the Senate vote demonstrated significant progress over votes in
June 2006 when a weaker measure offered by Sens. Carl Levin (D-MI) and Jack
Reed (D-RI) received 39 votes. All but one Republican Senator oppose the
measure.

This week marks the fourth anniversary of the beginning of the Iraq War. In
order to make sure we don¹t have a fifth anniversary, call or write your
Representative and tell them to support the House Supplemental
Appropriations Bill and its plan to bring our troops home.

The House Supplemental Appropriations bill is a step in the right direction
to end the war in Iraq. It would require that the Iraqi government meet the
benchmarks that President Bush detailed in his January 10th speech
announcing his troop escalation. The benchmarks include quelling sectarian
violence, disarming sectarian militias, approving a law on sharing oil
revenue and setting in motion new local elections.

The Supplemental Appropriations legislation is not the strong action to end
the war that we ultimately want, but it is part of an ongoing process that
will lead to Congress helping bring the war to an end. Last week¹s vote is
the latest in a series of votes that have increased pressure on the Bush
administration to end this disastrous conflict. Each action builds on the
last, as opponents of the war have attracted more and more votes to their
side. Passage of the Supplemental Appropriations bill will add to this
momentum and build pressure for even stronger votes in the future.

On the other hand, defeat of the Supplemental will hand President Bush the
policy and political victory he wants by enabling the passage of a funding
bill with no restrictions or timeline for withdrawal at all. That would be
an irresponsible and tragic outcome.

Passage of the Supplemental Appropriations bill is a vital step in a
sustained strategy to end the war. This strategy has successfully built
momentum against the war.

By providing a timetable for troop withdrawal, Congress would finally hold
President Bush accountable for the disastrous war in Iraq.

The bill will be voted on this Thursday and the tally will be close, so it
is incredibly important to call or write your Representative and tell them
to support the Supplemental Appropriations Bill and its plan to bring our
troops home. From CLW

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