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Bipartisan Iraq bill passes House vote

Bipartisan Iraq bill passes House vote
The U.S. House of Representatives approved Congressman John Tanner’s bipartisan bill to increase Congressional oversight of the Iraq war Tuesday by a vote of 377-46.
H.R. 3087 mandates that the Administration report to Congress within 60 days on the status of its planning for the redeployment of U.S. troops and requires further reports every 90 days thereafter. Tanner introduced the bill in July with Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Phil English (R-PA) and other bipartisan sponsors. The bill passed the House Armed Services Committee July 27 with a bipartisan, 55-2 vote.
“Our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Guardsmen and Marines are not dying in the name of the Republican Conference or Democratic Caucus, but they are dying in the name of the United States of America,” Tanner said during House floor debate. “We owe them a unified Congress to help them. This bill is a unifying factor here that starts us on the road to behaving as Americans first and political partisans second. Their sacrifice demands nothing less than that.
“A big bipartisan vote today, I think, will begin this unification process we so desperately need in this country.”
Tanner, who served four years in the U.S. Navy and 26 years in the Tennessee Army National Guard, has helped lead bipartisan meetings on Iraq in recent weeks. Tanner and Rep. Mike Castle (R-DE) recently announced a “Bipartisan Compact on Iraq,” signed by 28 House members, 14 from each party. The compact expresses agreement on several principles for Iraq debate, including that the House should conduct bipartisan dialogue on Iraq, that it is important for troops to have proper recuperation time between deployments and that additional diplomatic efforts are necessary.
Supporters of the bill expressed hope the Senate would introduce and vote on similar legislation, Tanner said.
Tanner represents Tennessee’s 8th Congressional district in West and Middle Tennessee. He serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and as chairman of the U.S. delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Published in The Messenger on 10.03.07

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