Monday, February 25, 2008

National Security Legislative Wrap-up

Congress is back from recess this week. The Senate is scheduled to vote on February 26 on whether to invoke cloture or shut off debate on two Iraq-related bills introduced by Sens. Feingold (D-WI), Reid (D-NV) and Menendez (D-NJ). The first measure would cut funding for U.S. troops 120 days after enactment of the measure except for specified purposes, including bringing the troops home. The second measure requires an Administration report to Congress on its strategy for combating al Qaeda.

House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee chairman John Murtha (D-PA) indicated that the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee intends to complete work on the defense portion of the over $100 billion fiscal year 2008 Supplemental Appropriations bill to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is not clear when the full Appropriations Committee or the House will take up the bill; it may not be until mid-to-late spring. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd (D-WV) has indicated he does not plan to take up the bill until April at the earliest. The measure is expected to be the vehicle for new fights over withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq and perhaps many other issues.

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