Details of House, Senate Agreement
Monday, April 23, 2007; 3:30 PM
House and Senate negotiators reached agreement on language to begin bringing U.S. troops home as early as this July. The final legislation:
-- Establishes benchmarks for the government of Iraq, including measurable progress in developing Iraqi security forces, giving U.S. troops more authority to pursue Islamist extremists, establishing a program to disarm militia, pursuing Sunni-Shiite reconciliation initiatives, enacting an oil revenue-sharing law, easing the program to oust all former Baath Party members from the government, reducing sectarian violence and protecting minority rights.
-- If the president fails to determine that the benchmarks are being met, troops shall begin withdrawing by July 1, 2007, with a goal of completing withdrawal 180 days later.
-- If the president determines the benchmarks are being met, troops shall begin withdrawals by Oct. 1, 2007, with a goal of completing the withdrawals 180 days later.
-- U.S. forces may remain in Iraq to protect U.S. personnel and facilities, serve in diplomatic positions, pursue al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations and train and equip Iraqi forces.
-- Jonathan Weisman