At 2 p.m. Eastern today, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee (co-chairs of Progressive caucus, which has roughly 64 members) and Maxine Waters (chair of Out of Iraq Caucus, roughly 74 members) are introducing comprehensive End the War legislation, answering Bush's challenge that Democrats provide alternative proposals. It's called The Bring the Troops Home and Iraq Sovereignty Restoration Act.
While I haven't seen an exact copy of the proposed legislation, I can tell you the basic details of what it will say. It's important for everyone who believes in bringing this war to an end that we get out and blog on the bill--and force the MSM to give this alternative broad coverage.
I understand that initially the co-sponsors will be joined by thirteen others (including Barney Frank, John Conyers, Jim McGovern, Dennis Kucinich, Diane Watson, Maurice Hinchey, Jerry Nadler and Raul Grijalva). Here are the details:
1. The bill fully funds a 6-month withdrawal of US forces and military contractors (from the date of enactment of the bill) from Iraq.
2. It repeals the authorization for the use of force. This is key, in my humble opinion, because it takes away any remaining authority to wage war in Iraq and, hopefully, reestablishes the Congress' power to wage war.
3. It prohibits the building of any permanent military bases in Iraq, which has clearly been the Pentagon's plan.
4. It provides economic and political aid to the Iraqi people and their government. When ever I've written and spoken about this issue, I've been clear that, while the U.S. cannot play any military role in Iraq, we are morally obligated to help rebuild a country out government destroyed.
5. The bill fully funds the VA Health Care system for all military veterans.
6. As I understand it, the bill draws on language from other bills aimed at an exit from war to peace and puts it into a package they hope to rally lawmakers and grassroots behind.
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