House Bill Bars Permanent Bases in Iraq
The House overwhelmingly approved legislation yesterday that would bar the establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq and the use of federal dollars to exercise control over Iraqi oil resources.
The measure, passed 399 to 24, was part of a barrage of Iraq bills scheduled for this month and designed to raise pressure on Republicans to break with President Bush on the war.
Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), who chairs the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, said that next week he will offer an amendment to the annual defense spending bill demanding that troop withdrawals begin this fall. The amendment would not set a final date for the withdrawal of troops, a change from past Democratic efforts that Murtha predicted will attract Republicans.
"The Democratic Congress will go on record -- every day, if necessary -- to register a judgment in opposition to the course of action that the president is taking in Iraq," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said.
House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (Ohio) decried the bases bill as a "meaningless stunt" before he and 171 other Republicans voted for it. No Democrats opposed the measure.
-- Jonathan Weisman