Abercrombie hails war bill’s passing
The president and the military would have to report to Congress about plans to withdraw from Iraq under a bill that passed the House yesterday with the help of Hawaii Democratic Rep. Neil Abercrombie.
The measure was approved with broad Republican support, causing Abercrombie to hail it "as the first bipartisan bill aimed at ending the war in Iraq."
The measure, co-sponsored by Abercrombie, passed the House 377-46, which Abercrombie said shows that Republicans can support a change in the Iraq war.
"I think this is a seminal bill. It is central to Congress making the changes we want," Abercrombie said in an interview from Washington after the vote.
"This is a big day for me -- trying to bring to bear the experiences of a lifetime and reach on such an important issue," Abercrombie told reporters.
The bill would require the Department of Defense, within 60 days, to report to congressional defense committees on planning for redeployment from Iraq, with updated reports every 90 days.
The bill, HR3087, also requires the secretary of defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to brief the House and Senate defense committees. But the bill has no specifics demanding a withdrawal from Iraq.
After clearing the House, the bill must now be approved by the Senate.
Abercrombie said yesterday that discussions have started with Democrats about bringing his bill up for a Senate vote.
"The overwhelming support of this bill may attract Republicans in the Senate," Abercrombie said.