Senate Dems Introduce Binding Iraq Withdrawal Resolution

By Paul Fidalgo

Mar 8, 2007 4:21pm

ABC News’ Jake Tapper and John Parkinson Report: After meeting with Senate Democrats — and being upstaged by Speaker Pelosi — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., this afternoon announced he was introducing a resolution to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq.

The binding resolution would direct the president to begin a phased redeployment within 120 days of enactment with a goal to redeploy all combat forces by March 31, 2008. Certain troops with other missions — such as training of Iraqi troops, conducting targeted counterterrorism — could remain.

"We can’t stay in Iraq," declared Reid, who said he has the support of a vast majority of the Democratic caucus, though it is unclear how much support the resolution could draw from Republicans.

"This resolution does what the voters asked us to do," said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich suggested the bill adheres closely to the Iraq Study Group recommendations.

Reid was also joined by fellow Democratic leaders Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. and Patty Murray, D-Wash., as well as liberal Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wisc., and moderate Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind.

Feingold said that when he heard about this resolution last week, he was very concerned that it wouldn’t do enough, but after working out some issues he is now supporting it, saying, "This is a major moment in ending the Iraq War."

Reid said his goal would be to debate three Republican amendments — the Warner amendment, McCain amendment and the Gregg Amendment — and two Democratic amendments.  What was unclear is whether Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, will allow this bill to come to a vote.

Reid said debate will likely begin early next week, once they finish up the 9/11 Commission bill that is currently being debated on the Senate floor.

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