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Barbara Lee and Colleagues Unveil Plan to Fully Fund Withdrawal of U.S. Troops from Iraq


From Rep. Barbara Lee

(Washington, DC) – Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland), accompanied by colleagues from the Congressional Progressive Caucus and the Out of Iraq Caucus, issued the following statement at a press conference on Capitol Hill today to announce a plan to fully fund the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by the end of the year:

“We are here today to discuss our proposal for Congress to fully fund the safe withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by December 31st, 2007.

“The American people sent a clear message in November – they called on Congress to bring a responsible end to the Bush administration’s failed policy in Iraq, and that is what the Lee Amendment is designed to do.

“Let me briefly explain what the Lee Amendment would do.

“It would require that all funds appropriated for Iraq could be used only for the following purposes:

“First, to complete the withdrawal of all US Armed Forces and military contractors from Iraq by December 31st, 2007.

“And second, to provide for the protection of those forces and contractors during the course of that withdrawal.

“We also clarify that while this would effectively end our military occupation of Iraq, it does not prohibit or restrict funds from being used for diplomatic efforts or reconstruction.

“According to a Gallup poll out this week, 6 in 10 Americans (58 percent) want U.S. troops to be withdrawn within 12 months.

“This very simple proposal represents where the majority of Americans are with regard to Iraq, and we are in discussion with our leadership to consider this proposal in formulating the supplemental.”

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The text of the Lee Amendment:

AMENDMENT TO H.R. _____, AS REPORTED
(SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS, 2007)
OFFERED BY MS. LEE OF CALIFORNIA
At the end of the bill (before the short title), insert the following:

SEC. ___. (a) Funds appropriated for Operation Iraqi Freedom or otherwise made available to the Department of Defense under any provision of law may be obligated and expended within the Republic of Iraq only for the purpose of providing for—

(1) the continued protection of members of the Armed Forces who are in Iraq participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Department of Defense contractor personnel who are in Iraq performing contracts related to such Operation, pending and during the withdrawal of such members of the Armed Forces and such contractor personnel; and

(2) the safe and complete withdrawal from Iraq of all members of the Armed Forces and contractor personnel described in paragraph (1) pursuant to a plan that provides for completion of the withdrawal not later than December 31, 2007.

(b) Nothing in subsection (a) shall be construed to prohibit or otherwise restrict the use of funds available to any department or agency of the United States to carry out diplomatic efforts or social and economic reconstruction activities in Iraq.

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