Thursday, February 08, 2007
House Dems set terms of three-day Iraq debate
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- House Democrats emerged from their caucus meeting this morning to announce that they will hold a three-day debate next week on Iraq.
Democratic leaders said that their resolution will be a simple expression of support for the troops and disapproval of President Bush's decision to send 21,500 additional troops to Iraq.
Republicans will be allowed to offer one substitute resolution.
House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emmanuel, D-Illinois, summarized their resolution: "We're not going to have Warner-Levin, we're not going to have Biden-Hagel, we're going to have President Bush's policy on the floor thoroughly debated."
House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, called the Democrats' non-binding resolution "nothing more than political theater than means nothing. And I believe it demoralizes our troops in the field. And if they're really serious about their intent to bring troops home, why not bring a real resolution to the floor and have a debate about whether in fact we should cut funding or not.”
Boehner would not say what kind of alternative the GOP will offer, saying he hasn't seen the language of the Democrats' resolution. He stressed that most Republicans support two measures -- one that says Congress will not cut funding for the troops and another that lays out benchmarks for the Iraqis and U.S. military to meet.
-- CNN Congressional Producer Deirdre Walsh
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