Washington, D.C. â€“ The anti-war movement continued to gain ground this week as the House of Representatives conducted two important votes on the Iraq War.
These votes reflect the American publicâ€™s widespread opposition to the war. According to a CNN poll released this week, Americans favor a timeline for withdrawal 57 to 41 percent.
A bill calling for immediate withdrawal offered by Rep. James McGovern (D-MA) won 171 votes, garnering support from two Republicans and 74 percent of voting Democrats. In 2005, similar legislation introduced by Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) received 128 votes with support from only 60 percent of Democrats.
In response to the vote on his amendment, REP. JAMES MCGOVERN told Council for a Livable World that â€œLast night's vote was a victory for those of us who want to bring an end to this awful war. 171 members of the House – including 2 Republicans – said 'enough is enough.' We must continue to put pressure on the White House and their Republican allies in Congress to do the right thing and bring our troops home to their families."
The House also passed its second version of the Supplemental Appropriations bill, which sets out important benchmarks for the Iraqi parliament and requires President Bush to issue a progress report to Congress by July 13. While Bush objects to dividing the funding into two bills, he softened his stance Thursday by suggesting that including benchmarks â€œmakes sense.â€�
JOHN ISAACS, Executive Director of Council for a Livable World, called the House votes â€œAn important marker toward ending the war in Iraq. The vote on the McGovern bill â€“ in addition to the recent meeting at which 11 Republicans expressed their concerns about the war to the President â€“ shows Congress is coming around to the public view that it is time to conclude the disastrous Iraq adventure.â€�
The second version of the Supplemental retains funding levels from the first version. The bill includes $95.5 billion for the Department of Defense, primarily to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. This funding is in addition to the $70 billion â€œbridge fundâ€� in war funding for FYâ€™07 that Congress approved last September. To date, Congress has approved over $500 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, not including the $95.5 billion included in the conference agreement, nor the $141.7 billion in additional funding already requested by the Administration for FYâ€™08.