Monday, September 24, 2007

National Security Legislative Wrap-up, September 17-21 2007

The Senate continues its consideration of the Fiscal Year 2008 Defense Authorization bill this week but will be taking up other business as well. There were several votes on amendments to withdraw troops from Iraq last week, all unsuccessful. There will be more votes this week on Iraq. In addition, Congress must approve a Continuing Resolution, a bill to provide temporary funding early in a fiscal year when Congress has not completed funding on appropriations bills.



The Senate resumed its consideration of the bill on September 17. A Webb (D-VA) - Hagel (R-NE) amendment requiring more rest and training for U.S. troops before being sent back to Iraq or Afghanistan failed 56 - 44, with 60 votes required for passage. A Feingold (D-WI) - Reid (D-NV) amendment was defeated 28 - 70. The amendment would have mandated the beginning of the withdrawal of most American forces from Iraq 90 days after enactment of the bill, with funds cut off for any American forces remaining in Iraq after June 30, 2008 except for counterterrorism, training and protection of U.S. infrastructure and personnel. A Levin (D-MI) & Reed (D-RI) amendment also failed, this time 47 - 47, with 60 votes needed for adoption. It would have mandated the beginning of withdrawal of American forces from Iraq within 90 days of enactment and completed the withdrawal of most troops within nine months of enactment.

The Senate is expected to continue considering the bill the week of September 24.


The full Senate may consider the bill in last week of September -- or it may not. The portion of the request to pay for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars -- which now reportedly will reach up to $200 billion -- is not likely to be considered until October or November. Congress is waiting for additional Administration war requests.

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