CQ TODAY MIDDAY UPDATE, July 20, 2007
A group of 69 House Democrats has put the White House on notice that its members will not support any more war funding bills unless the measures include a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq.
“We agree with a clear and growing majority of the American people who are opposed to continued, open-ended U.S. military operations in Iraq,” the anti-war bloc, led by California Democrats Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee, wrote in a letter to President Bush Thursday. Woolsey and Lee co-chair the Out of Iraq Caucus.
Ron Paul of Texas was the only Republican to sign the letter.
The announcement — the latest sign that Democrats are determined to limit U.S. involvement in Iraq —follows the decision by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., to pull the fiscal 2008 Defense authorization bill (HR 1585) from the Senate floor this week after attempts to add a withdrawal mandate were blocked by a GOP filibuster.
Rather than allow votes on non-binding withdrawal proposals, Reid decided to wait until more Republicans are ready to join Democrats on a mandatory timeline. Only four GOP senators crossed party lines July 18 to vote in favor of limiting debate on the withdrawal amendment to the defense bill.