(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) voted in favor of a supplemental spending bill that changes course in Iraq while ensuring that service members who are there have the resources they need.
"After four years and more than 3,000 American lives, it's time for the Iraqis to take responsibility for their own country. Our troops have done everything we've asked them to do, and now it's time to start bringing them home," Murray said. "This bill recognizes that it's going to take a political solution to solve Iraq's civil war."
The instructions on Iraq are included in the $121 billion FY 2007 Supplemental spending bill, which passed the Senate Appropriations Committee today with Murray's support. Next the bill will be considered by the full Senate.
To change Iraq policy, the bill calls for the President to start redeploying troops from Iraq within 120 days and sets the goal of having most U.S. troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. The bill says that Congress supports the troops, that circumstances have changed since the 2002 force authorization, and that U.S. troops should not be policing a civil war.
The bill calls for redeployment to be part of a comprehensive strategy and calls for the President to issue reports to Congress on the status of redeployment.
The Iraq language is similar to S.J. Res 9 (the Reid Resolution), which Senator Murray voted for on March 15, 2007. Then, the resolution fell 12 votes short of the 60 needed to pass. This version includes a new section outlining benchmarks that the Iraqi government should meet in areas like training forces, disarming militias, and fairly distributing energy resources.