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McGovern, Jones, and Lee Introduce Resolution To Pull Troops from Iraq by Yearend

July 12, 2014 (EIRNS)—Representatives Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.), and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) yesterday introduced House Concurrent Resolution 105, mandating that all U.S. troops be withdrawn from Iraq by the end of the year, except for those needed to defend U.S. diplomatic facilities and personnel.

The resolution reads, in part:

“Pursuant to section 5(c) of the War Powers Resolution (50 U.S.C. 1544(c)), Congress directs the President to remove United States Armed Forces, other than Armed Forces required to protect United States diplomatic facilities and personnel, from Iraq—(1) by no later than the end of the period of 30 days beginning on the day on which this concurrent resolution is adopted; or (2) if the President determines that it is not safe to remove such United States Armed Forces before the end of that period, by no later than December 31, 2014, or such earlier date as the President determines that the Armed Forces can safely be removed.”

The resolution was referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs for action.

In a speech to the House Floor, Representative McGovern announced the resolution, declaring that

"We did this for a simple reason. Congress has the responsibility to authorize the introduction of American troops where hostilities are imminent. In less than 3 weeks, in three separate deployments, the U.S. has sent at least 775 additional troops to Iraq. Now is the time for Congress to debate the merits of our military involvement in this latest Iraq conflict. Openly. Transparently. Do we approve of these deployments and any future escalation? If so, we should vote to authorize it. If we do not support it, then we should bring out troops back home. It’s that simple, Mr. Speaker. Congress has the responsibility to act on Iraq. Now.”

McGovern went on to explain that the resolution mandates, under a special procedure of the War Powers Resolution, that the House take up the bill within 15 calendar days. He added,

“The time for that debate is now. Not when the first body bag comes home from Iraq. Not when the first U.S. airstrikes or bombs fall on Iraq. Not when we are embedded with Iraqi troops trying to take back an ISIS-held town. And worst case scenario, not when our troops are shooting their way out of an overtaken Baghdad.”

He warned,

“The longer we put off carrying out our Constitutional responsibilities, the easier it becomes to just drift along. That is what Congress has done over and over—and it has to end, Mr. Speaker... We owe at least this much to our own democracy and democratic institutions that require Congress to be the final arbiter on whether our troops are sent into hostilities abroad.”

That Floor speech was posted as a press release and video link on McGovern’s Congressional website. Rep. Walter Jones posted a press release Friday afternoon, stating, in part, that

“The executive has an unfortunate history of ignoring the constitutional responsibility of Congress to authorize the use of our military. To put our men and women in uniform back into harm’s way without express approval from Congress is both unlawful and ignorant of our past experience wasting American lives and taxpayer dollars in an attempt to bring Iraq into a state of ‘stability’—a stability that has quickly disintegrated in the face of opposition from ISIS. I call on my colleagues in the House and Senate to support this effort in compliance with our congressional authority as dictated in the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution.”

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