posted by Anita Fieldman
Washington, DC – Joined by Congresswoman Barbara Lee (CA), and Maxine Waters (CA), Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (Petaluma) today introduced the Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act of 2007, sweeping legislation, which would establish a 6-month timeframe for withdrawal for all US military forces from Iraq, provide a framework for bringing stability back to Iraq, and fully fund the VA health care system. The proposal is a direct response to President Bush’s challenge over the weekend for those who oppose his planed escalation to put forth a plan of their own. Woolsey introduced the bill during a press conference held this afternoon in the Capitol. Below are her remarks, as prepared for delivery:
“Today Congresswomen Waters and Lee and I are introducing a bill that would bring our troops home from Iraq within a six month timeframe.
“The Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act is the first comprehensive legislative proposal to end the occupation and provide a framework to help bring stability back to Iraq.
“Last Wednesday night, President Bush demonstrated to the world that he continues to deny the realities on the ground in Iraq. Instead of putting forth a plan that would withdraw our troops, the President is increasing our military presence, by escalating the number of troops by over twenty thousand. What the President fails to grasp is that our military presence is only fueling the insurgency, plunging Iraq further into chaos and civil war.
“The results of November 7th showed just how fed up the American public is with the President’s failed Iraq policy. It is time to honor that mandate. It is now up to the Congress to catch up with the will of the American public.
“During his weekly radio address on Saturday, the President challenged those of us who disagree with him to offer a plan of our own. Today, we stand before you, and the American public, to take up his challenge.
“The Congress has already appropriated funding that will support our troops and keep this occupation going for at least another six months. That funding instead should be used to finance an aggressive withdrawal plan that brings our troops home to their families. Our bill would do exactly that.
“Our plan will also.
1. Withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from date of enactment.
2. Prohibit any further funding to deploy, or continue to deploy U.S. troops in Iraq. The bill does, however, allow for funding to be used, as needed, to ensure a safe withdrawal of all US military personnel and contractors, diplomatic consultations. Funding may also be used for the increased training and equipping of Iraqi and international security forces.
3. Accelerate, during the six month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi security force.
4. Authorize, if requested by the Iraqi government, U.S. support for an international stabilization force. Such a force would be funded for no longer than two years, and be combined with economic and humanitarian assistance.
5. Guarantee full health care funding, including mental health, for U.S. veterans of military operations in Iraq and other conflicts.
“In addition the bill would:
6. Rescind the Congressional Authorization for the War in Iraq.
7. Prohibit the construction of permanent US military bases in the country.
8. Finally, we believe that Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqis. Once the oil is in the international market, the U.S. will certainly have access to our share. That’s why our bill ensures that the U.S. has no long-term control over Iraqi oil.
“Our plan, with the exception of Veterans’ benefits, will cost the American people pennies on the dollar as compared to continuing the occupation for two more years. It will save lives, bodies, and minds, and it will give Iraq back to the Iraqis. It is an important step in regaining our credibility in the region and throughout the world, and provides the President, and this Congress, with a comprehensive way to respond to the majority of Americans who want our troops to come home.”
This bill is co-sponsored by: Barbara Lee (CA), Maxine Waters (CA), Diane Watson (CA), James McGovern (MA), Barney Frank (MA), Raul Grijalva (AZ), Chaka Fattah (PA), Jerrold Nadler (NY), John Conyers Jr. (MI), Wm. Lacy Clay (MO), Steve Cohen (TN), Maurice Hinchey (NY), Bob Filner (CA), Dennis Kucinich (OH), Donald Payne (NJ) and Sheila Jackson-Lee (TX)