By a vote of 223-201, the House of Representatives passed a surrender timetable that culminates in an April 1, 2008 withdrawal. How appropriate. It’ll be vetoed, but don’t think our enemies aren’t hearing the defeatist message from the House loud and clear.
The Iraqi government is achieving only spotty military and political progress, the Bush administration conceded Thursday in an assessment that war critics quickly seized on as confirmation of their dire warnings. Within hours, the House voted to withdraw U.S. troops by spring.
The House measure passed 223-201 in the Democratic-controlled chamber despite a veto threat from President Bush, who has ruled out any change in war policy before September…
…A few hours after Bush’s remarks, Democratic leaders engineered passage of legislation requiring the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops to begin within 120 days, and to be completed by April 1, 2008. The measure envisions a limited residual force to train Iraqis, protect U.S. assets and fight al-Qaida and other terrorists.
The vote generally followed party lines: 219 Democrats and four Republicans in favor, and 191 Republicans and 10 Democrats opposed.
“The report makes clear that not even the White House can conclude there has been significant progress,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
To Bush and others who seek more time for the administration’s policy to work, she said, “We have already waited too long.”
Republicans sided with Bush — at least for now. The bill “undermines Gen. Petraeus, undermines the mission he has to make America and Iraq safe,” said the House GOP leader, Rep. John Boehner of Ohio. “What we have here is not leadership, it’s negligence.”
The Republicans who voted for the measure:
House Republican Whip Roy Blunt (Mo.) released the following statement this evening after 10 Democrats joined 191 Republicans in voting against the Democratic leadership’s latest attempt to undermine our troops in the field, and wrest operational control from our commanders on the ground.
“Democrats in the House once again this evening put themselves on record in support of a strategy of surrender in Iraq – this time passing a bill that satisfies their temporary political needs, but fails to consider the needs of our troops and commanders in the field.
“Far from providing a ‘new way forward’ in Iraq, this bill offers not a single policy recommendation or point of strategy to keep our troops safe and secure, and put them in a position to be successful. The only thing it offers is a symbolic gesture of defeat paired with the necessary means of delivering it.
“The conditions on the ground in Iraq right now need to improve – a fact understood well by this Congress, the American people, and the president himself. But instead of coming together with a common purpose to craft a long-term strategy for success – a strategy that’s informed by facts on the ground and driven by a shared commitment to win – the majority continues to play politics at the expense of those who put themselves in harm’s way in service of our nation.
“In the same afternoon, Democrats also rejected a measure that would have closed the terrorist surveillance loophole in the FISA process – rounding out a day in which our mission in Iraq was dealt a further blow, and our ability to keep Americans safe at home was diminished right on the floor of the U.S. House.”
Ed Morrissey has Rep. John Shadegg’s speech blasting the House White Flag bill.