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House passes bill demanding Iraq redeployment numbers

  • Story Highlights
  • Bill requires Pentagon to give status reports on U.S. troop redeployment
  • The bill does not require a timeline for troops to withdraw from Iraq
  • Some liberal Democrats oppose the measure, call for funding cutoff
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The House of Representatives passed a bill Tuesday directing the Bush administration to give Congress plans detailing how it would redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq.

U.S. soldiers at an outpost in Baquba, Iraq, head to their armored personnel carriers before a mission Tuesday.

The vote was 377-46.

The bill requires the Pentagon to send Congress status reports on U.S. troop redeployment within 60 days of the bill's enactment.

The legislation was sponsored by Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii; Rep. John Tanner, D-Tennessee and Rep. Phil English, R-Pennsylvania.

It also mandates that Pentagon officials brief congressional committees on their contingency plans. It does not require a timeline for troops to withdraw from Iraq.

"Many of the problems we face in Iraq resulted from the administration's failure to make adequate plans for the post-war period," said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton, a Missouri Democrat.

"Military experts and members of Congress from both parties agree that bringing our troops home from Iraq demands significant planning by the Department of Defense. We must make sure that we get the planning right this time," Skelton added.

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Rep. Chris Shays, R-Connecticut, said he still hopes to see a timeline for bringing troops home, but said the debate was "a bipartisan beginning for something that can lead to more."

Some liberal Democrats opposed the measure, saying that the only way to change policy in Iraq is to cut off funding for the war.

"If we have learned one lesson in the run-up and the execution of the war, it is that we cannot trust this president," said Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-California.

"That's why, as a co-equal branch of government, the Congress must use our constitutional powers, and the power of the purse, to take control of the war and force the president to bring our brave young men and women home." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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