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New Resolutions Lay Ground for Iraq War Showdown on Capitol Hill

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Democratic Congressmembers Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters of California have introduced a bill calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military contractors within six months. The measure is one several new resolutions showing increased opposition to the White House plan to escalate the war in Iraq. We play an excerpt of Rep. Woolsey’s speech introducing her bill on the House floor. [includes rush transcript]

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZALEZ: On Capitol Hill, President Bush is facing increasing opposition to his plan to escalate the war in Iraq. A group of Republican and Democratic senators have introduced a nonbinding resolution opposing Bush’s plan to send over 20,000 more troops. The resolution was introduced by Democratic Senators Carl Levin and Joseph Biden, as well as by Republican Chuck Hagel. Meanwhile in the House, Democratic Congressmembers Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey and Maxine Waters introduced a bill calling for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops and military contractors within six months.

AMY GOODMAN: A number of grassroots groups are also presenting plans to Congress. A group of 50 active-duty servicemembers visited Capitol Hill Tuesday to call for the immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The soldiers presented a petition known as an appeal for redress. It was signed by over a thousand troops, mostly enlisted servicemembers. Today, over a hundred members of the Granny Peace Brigade plan to visit the offices of every senator to urge Congress to cut off funding for the war.

This is California Congressmember Lynn Woolsey. She was speaking last night on the House floor, outlining her bill known as the Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act.

REP. LYNN WOOLSEY: The Congress has already appropriated funding that will support our troops and keep this occupation going for at least another six months, possibly longer. That funding instead should be used to finance an aggressive withdrawal plan that brings our troops home to their families, and our bill would do exactly that.

Our plan will also withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from date of enactment. It will 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 U.S. military personnel and contractors. Funding may also be used for the increased training and equipping of Iraqi and international security forces. Thirdly, it accelerates, during the six-month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi security force; and fourth, 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. It guarantees full healthcare funding, including mental health, for U.S. veterans of military operations in Iraq and other conflicts.

In addition, Mr. Speaker, the bill would rescind the 2002 Congressional Authorization for the War in Iraq; prohibit the construction of permanent U.S. military bases in the country; and finally, ensure that the U.S. has no long-term control over Iraqi oil. We believe that the oil in Iraq belongs to the Iraqi people. And we believe that when this oil goes into the world marketplace, the international marketplace, the U.S. will certainly have access to our share.

Mr. Speaker, excluding the veterans’ benefits, our plan will cost the American people pennies on the dollar, compared to continuing the occupation of two more years in Iraq. It will save lives, bodies and minds, and it will give Iraq back to the Iraqis. The Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Act is an important step in regaining our country’s credibility in the region and throughout the world, and it provides the president and Congress with a comprehensive strategy for responding to the majority of Americans who want our troops to come home.

AMY GOODMAN: California Congressmember Lynn Woolsey, speaking on the floor of the House last evening.

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