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.
John Kerry (D-Mass.) announced a short time ago that he will cosponsor the legislation introduced by Senator Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) and Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) to enforce a deadline for the redeployment of US troops. Kerry said in a statement:
“President Bush has once again decided to ignore reality and ignore the will of Congress by pledging to veto a new policy for Iraq,” said Kerry. “In the face of the Administration’s stubborn unwillingness to change course, the Senate has no choice but to force a change of course. Our brave American troops deserve nothing less than a policy that is equal to their sacrifice.
“I am pleased to be an original co-sponsor of legislation that Senator Feingold plans to introduce which will change the military mission and enforce the Senate’s one year deadline for redeploying most U.S. troops from Iraq. The message it sends is simple: no more open ended commitment, no more putting American troops in the middle of an Iraqi civil war. The American mission in Iraq will be to train Iraqis and chase Al Qaeda, not do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves. With this legislation, the Senate makes it clear we mean business.
“There is no military solution to the violence in Iraq, and a meaningful deadline is necessary to get Iraqis to stand up for Iraq and start making tough political compromises. I look forward to continuing the fight for a policy that can work in Iraq.”
AP News offered an exclusive with Henry Kissinger today, as noted here earlier, in which Kissinger echoed Kerry and said that "military victory not possible in Iraq." John Kerry was an original co-sponsor with Senator Feingold in June of 2006 of legislation to set a one year deadline for the redeployment of most American combat troops. The original Kerry-Feingold legislation garnered 13 votes, and last week a similar bill earned a majority.
The language of the Feingold 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.