Home / International / Opinion Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
US House Resolution Challenges Bush's Iraq Policy
Adjust font size:

The US House of Representatives passed a nonbinding resolution on Friday, after four days of debate, demonstrating the sharp differences between the White House and the Democrats-controlled Congress over the war in Iraq.

The resolution, analysts said, would produce far-reaching impact on the Bush administration's Iraq policy.

Democrats, republicans differ on resolution

The resolution was passed with a vote of 246-182, with 229 Democrats and 17 Republicans supporting the legislation and 180 Republicans and two Democrats voting against it.

The resolution, introduced on Monday, said "Congress and the American people will continue to support and protect the members of the United States Armed Forces ... and Congress disapproves of the decision of President George W. Bush announced on Jan. 10, 2007, to deploy more than 20,000 additional United States combat troops to Iraq."

Many Republicans against the resolution said Democrats rushed to make their judgment without giving Bush's new Iraq policy, including sending over 20,000 additional US troops to Iraq, a chance to work. They argued that the passage of the resolution would embolden enemies of the United States and damage American soldiers fighting in Iraq.

"One side assumes we must defeat al Qaeda in Iraq; another side asserts we can retreat from al Qaeda in Iraq," said Representative Thaddeus McCotter, chairman of the House Republican Policy Committee.

"And one side believes the American people voted (in November last year) to change course in Iraq to win; another side feels the American people voted to change course in Iraq to lose," he added.

Democrats took control of both chambers of Congress in last year's midterm elections, partly because of American voters' increasing opposition to the Iraq war.

Democrats, on the other hand, criticized Bush's plan of more troops to Iraq, calling it part of a deeply flawed strategy that had stirred more violence in the Middle East and damaged the country's image abroad. The war in Iraq, they said, was not part of the battle against terrorism, but rather a distraction from it.

The Bush administration's Iraq campaign had been marked by "mismanagement and misinformation," and that United States forces had been given an impossible mission, to "find a military solution to a political problem," said Representative Louise Slaughter, a Democrat from New York.

The resolution "was a bipartisan nonbinding resolution that should send a very clear and firm message to the president of the United States that the American people spoke in November, that they wanted a new direction in Iraq," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California.

White house faces challenges from congress over Iraq

While the resolution was nonbinding had no practical, direct effect on the administration's Iraq policy, both the White House and Republicans in Congress have expressed concern that the legislature might cut the funding for the war or put more restrictions on how the money allocated for the Iraq war was to spend.

Bush had calculated that the House would pass the measure, and said passage of the resolution would not deter him from proceeding with the deployment of another 21,500 troops to Iraq.

Shortly after the House passed the resolution, the White House issued a statement saying that "the resolution is nonbinding. Soon, Congress will have the opportunity to show its support for the troops in Iraq by funding the supplemental appropriations request the president has submitted."

"The President believes that the Congress should provide the full funding and flexibility our Armed Forces need to succeed in their mission to protect our country," it said.

House minority leader John Boehner said that while the resolution was only symbolic, it charted "a very treacherous path" that could lead to cutting off money for military operations in Iraq. McCotter also warned that the resolution "will instigate binding legislation to commence ... funding cuts" for the Iraq war.

Republicans' fear of possible funding cuts was no unfounded, however. Jack Murtha, chairman of the House Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, had announced he would introduce legislation that would set strict conditions on combat deployments, which he said, would make it impossible for Bush to maintain his planned deployment of a total of about 160,000 troops for months on end.

Murtha said on Wednesday his plans for placing conditions on how Bush could spend new war funding for Iraq this year would effectively stop an American troop buildup.

Democrats had put forth six proposals to Bush, including changing the US mission in Iraq, redeploying the troops, engaging in diplomacy in the region, pushing for political reconciliation, and refocusing on the war on terror, Pelosi said. "This resolution today sets the stage for that new direction, one on which we will focus on other than military initiatives," she said after the passage of the resolution.

By passing the resolution, the House sent a strong signal to Bush, analysts said. If the administration did not overhaul its policy on Iraq, they said, there would be more disputes over Iraq between the White House and Congress, and the administration would face more challenges in implementing its policy on Iraq.

(Xinhua News Agency February 17, 2007)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- Democrats Win House and Senate Race, Rumsfeld Resigns
- Iraqi Study Report Getting Nowhere?
- White House Announces Personnel Changes to Pave Way for New Iraq Policy
- In Search of US Strategic Frontline
- Will Bush's New Iraq Strategy Work?
- A New Iraq Strategy But Old Problems Remain
- Bush Calls Old Iraq Policy 'a Slow Failure'
- State of the Union: Defiant Bush Outlines Agenda for New Year
- Can Realists Redirect US Foreign Policy?
- US Senate to Hold Test Vote on Bush's War Plan
Most Viewed >>
> Korean Nuclear Talks
> Reconstruction of Iraq
> Middle East Peace Process
> Iran Nuclear Issue
> 6th SCO Summit Meeting
- China Development Gateway
- Foreign Ministry
- Network of East Asian Think-Tanks
- China-EU Association
- China-Africa Business Council
- China Foreign Affairs University
- University of International Relations
- Institute of World Economics & Politics
- Institute of Russian, East European & Central Asian Studies
- Institute of West Asian & African Studies
- Institute of Latin American Studies
- Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies
- Institute of Japanese Studies