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Friday, March 23, 2007

218 micromanagers?

The House voted 218-212 today to set a timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Iraq. Needless to say, that is far from a veto-proof majority.

Nonetheless, 218 is a majority of the 435 seat House of Representatives.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi knows what this vote means symbolically:
“Today, this new Congress took a new step to end the war in Iraq,” said Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat. “The American people, their voices, have been heard.”

...Ms. Pelosi called the legislation, which took the form of an emergency spending bill, “a giant step to end the war and responsibly redeploy our troops out of Iraq” and concentrate on Afghanistan, “where the war on terrorism is.”
The President too understands the symbolism -- he even called it "an act of political theater."

Two Republicans voted with the majority, including long-time war foe Walter Jones of NC, while 14 Democrats voted no. Some of those who voted no didn't think the measure was sufficiently anti-war.

Here is the proposed timetable:
The withdrawal timetable provision, which calls for most American troops to be out of Iraq by Sept. 1, 2008, is part of a bill to provide about $100 billion to finance the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill would also impose a series of performance benchmarks, for Baghdad and for Washington, to show progress in the new Iraq. Withdrawal would be required even sooner if progress on those benchmarks could not be demonstrated.
I guess today's vote explains why the Dems wanted to work on Fridays.

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