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FEINGOLD INTRODUCES IRAQ REDEPLOYMENT ACT OF 2007


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APRIL 10, 2007, STATEMENT FROM SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD

FEINGOLD INTRODUCES BILL TO END U.S. MILITARY INVOLVEMENT IN IRAQ

Senate Majority Leader Reid Cosponsors Legislation Forcing President to Safely Redeploy Troops by March 31, 2008

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold introduced legislation today to effectively end U.S. military involvement in Iraq. The bill, supported by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill passed by the Senate. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008. In addition to Reid, the bill is cosponsored by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chris Dodd (D-CT), Ted Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Pat Leahy (D-VT), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). If the President vetoes the emergency supplemental spending bill, Reid has said he will work to ensure Feingold’s bill gets a vote in the Senate before Memorial Day.

“The President says he will veto legislation already passed by the Senate that both funds the troops and responds to Americans’ demands for an end to the Iraq war,” Feingold said. “Since the President refuses to change his failed Iraq policy, that responsibility falls on Congress. By setting a date after which funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy will end, we can give the President the time and funding he needs to safely redeploy our troops so we can refocus on the global terrorist networks that threaten the lives of Americans.”

The language of the legislation reads:

(a) Transition of Mission - The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq - The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds - No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited Purposes - The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.

(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.

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APRIL 2, 2007, STATEMENT FROM SEN. RUSS FEINGOLD

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER COSPONSORS FEINGOLD BILL TO REDEPLOY TROOPS FROM IRAQ

Washington D.C. - U.S. Senator Russ Feingold (D-WI) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) announced today that they are introducing legislation that will effectively end the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces. The bill requires the President to begin safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill ends funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.

“I am pleased to cosponsor Senator Feingold’s important legislation,” Reid said. “I believe it is consistent with the language included in the supplemental appropriations bill passed by a bipartisan majority of the Senate. If the President vetoes the supplemental appropriations bill and continues to resist changing course in Iraq, I will work to ensure this legislation receives a vote in the Senate in the next work period.”

“I am delighted to be working with the Majority Leader to bring our involvement in the Iraq war to an end,” Feingold said. “Congress has a responsibility to end a war that is opposed by the American people and is undermining our national security. By ending funding for the President’s failed Iraq policy, our bill requires the President to safely redeploy our troops from Iraq.”

The language of the legislation reads:

(a) Transition of Mission - The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d).

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq - The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.

(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds - No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited Purposes - The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.

(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.

__________________

JANUARY 2007 STATEMENT FROM FEINGOLD

Legislation Would Use Congress’s Power of the Purse to Redeploy Most U.S. Troops Out of Iraq in Six Months

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Russ Feingold today introduced the Iraq Redeployment Act of 2007. Feingold’s bill uses Congress’s power of the purse to force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq by prohibiting funds for continued operations six months after enactment. Feingold’s legislation allows for specific operations to continue in Iraq beyond six months, including counter-terrorism efforts, protection of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and training of Iraqi security forces. The six-month timeframe provides the President with adequate time to safely redeploy the troops from Iraq.

“By passing my legislation, Congress can respond to the will of the American people and force the President to safely bring our forces out of Iraq,” Feingold said. “With the President set on pursuing his failed policies in Iraq, Congress has the duty to stand up and use its power to stop him. If Congress doesn’t stop this war, it’s not because it doesn’t have the power -- it’s because it doesn’t have the will.”

Feingold’s bill is the latest effort in his long record of opposing the President’s flawed Iraq policy. In August 2005, Feingold, who opposed the authorization to use force in Iraq, became the first Senator to propose a timeline to bring an end to U.S. involvement in Iraq. Yesterday, Feingold chaired a full Judiciary Committee hearing where a diverse panel of constitutional scholars testified that Congress does indeed have the power to end a war.

“From the beginning, this war has been a mistake, and the policies that have carried it out have been a failure,” Feingold said. “Congress must not allow the President to continue a war that has already come at such a terrible cost. We have the constitutional authority and the moral responsibility to end our involvement in Iraq so we can refocus on those who attacked us on 9/11.”

FACT SHEET: IRAQ REDEPLOYMENT ACT OF 2007

“…Congress can, and has, used the power of the purse to restrict presidential war power. If members of Congress are worried about American troops fighting for their lives in a futile war, those lives are not protected by voting for continued funding. The proper and responsible action is to terminate appropriations and bring the troops home.”

-Louis Fisher, Specialist in Constitutional Law, Law Library of Congress, in his book “Presidential War Power.”

Feingold’s legislation:

Prohibits the use of funds for continued deployment of U.S. Armed Forces to the Republic of Iraq after six months of enactment. In other words, the President would have to redeploy troops safely by that date.
Requires the Administration to report to Congress, within 60 days of enactment, a strategy for safely redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq within the six months prior to the fund termination date.
Provides specific exceptions to the prohibition for:
Conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations in Iraq.
Allowing a limited number of U.S. forces to conduct specific training for Iraqi security services.
Providing security for U.S. infrastructure and civilian personnel.
Does not prohibit funds for any department or agency of the Government of the United States to carry out political, economic, or general reconstruction activities in Iraq.
Does not prevent any U.S. troops from receiving salaries, equipment, training and other resources.

On numerous occasions, Congress has exercised its constitutional authority to end military engagements. Here are just a few examples:

Cambodia – In late December 1970, Congress passes the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Appropriations Act prohibiting the use of funds to finance the introduction of United States ground combat troops into Cambodia or to provide U.S. advisors to or for Cambodian military forces in Cambodia.
Vietnam – In late June 1973, Congress passes the second Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY1973. This legislation contains language cutting off funds for combat activities in Vietnam after August 15, 1973.
Somalia – In November 1993, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act includes a provision that prohibits funding after March 31, 1994 for military operations in Somalia, except for a limited number of military personnel to protect American diplomatic personnel and American citizens, unless further authorized by Congress.
Bosnia – In 1998, Congress passes the Defense Authorization Bill, with a provision that prohibits funding for Bosnia after June 30, 1998, unless the President makes certain assurances.

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