Congressional Record: April 10, 2007 (Senate)
Page S4308-S4311                    


      By Mr. FEINGOLD (for himself, Mr. Reid, Mr. Leahy, Mr. Dodd, Mr. 
        Kerry, Mrs.  Boxer, Mr. Whitehouse, Mr. Kennedy, Mr. Harkin, 
        and Mr. Sanders):
  S. 1077. A bill to safely redeploy United States troops from Iraq; to 
the Committee on Foreign Relations.
  Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, it is just over 4 years since our brave 
troops marched into Baghdad, bringing an end to the dictatorship of 
Saddam Hussein. Four long years later, however, over 141,000 U.S. 
troops remain in Iraq and more are on the way, while that country 
continues its tragic descent into widespread violence and civil war. 
Four years later, the President continues to insist that he has no 
intention of bringing this war to an end--or even acknowledging when it 
might end. And, 4 years later, the American people are calling out in 
greater and greater numbers for an end to a misguided and open-ended 
military mission.
  That is why, today, along with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, I 
am introducing legislation that would require the President to begin 
safely redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq within 120 days, and that 
would require redeployment to be completed by March 31, 2008, by ending 
funding for the war on that date. While I would personally prefer an 
even stronger approach, with a shorter time-frame, for ending the war, 
I am pleased to be working with the Majority Leader on this 
legislation. Senator Reid understands the terrible costs of this war, 
and he understands the solemn obligation we have in this body to bring 
it to a close. As he put it just a few days ago, ``It is not worth 
another drop of American blood in Iraq. It is not worth another damaged 
brain.'' I thank Senator Reid for his support and for agreeing to bring 
the bill up for a vote before Memorial Day. I am also pleased to have 
the cosponsorship of Senators Leahy, Dodd, Kerry, Boxer, Whitehouse and 
  There is no U.S. military solution to Iraq's civil war, which the 
recently declassified National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) called a 
``self-sustaining inter-sectarian struggle between Shia and Sunnis.'' 
And even if there were a military solution, civil war is only one of 
the problems causing violence and instability in Iraq. Again, let me 
quote the NIE: ``the term `civil war' does not adequately capture the 
complexity of the conflict in Iraq, which includes extensive Shia-on-
Shia violence, al-Qa'ida and Sunni insurgent attacks on Coalition 
forces, and widespread criminally motivated violence.''
  Most Americans recognize that it makes no sense to ask our troops to 
police an ongoing civil war. Nor does it

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make any sense to ask our troops to put down a Sunni insurgency, or to 
place them in the middle of ``Shia-on-Shia violence'' or ``criminally 
motivated violence'' in Iraq.
  It does, however, make sense to address the ongoing threat posed by 
al Qaeda. For that reason, the Feingold-Reid legislation would allow 
``targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members 
of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations'' to 
continue in Iraq after March 2008. The bill also has narrow exceptions 
for U.S. troops to train and equip Iraqis and provide security for 
other U.S. troops and civilian personnel, but neither of these 
exceptions authorizes U.S. troops to engage in combat operations.
  The Feingold-Reid bill allows targeted operations to take out 
terrorists who pose a threat to the United States, but it recognizes 
that maintaining a huge U.S. troop presence in Iraq doesn't help--in 
fact, it hurts--our global anti-terrorism efforts. By redeploying the 
vast majority of U.S. troops from Iraq, this legislation will allow us 
to re-focus on the broader fight against al Qaeda. Al Qaeda is not a 
one country franchise, and the President's strategy of devoting so much 
of our resources and attention to one country is short-sighted and 
  Some of my colleagues argue that cutting off funds for the war is the 
same as cutting off funds for the troops. They raise the specter of 
troops being left on the battlefield without the training, equipment 
and resources they need.
  Those arguments are false. Every member of Congress agrees that we 
must continue to support our troops and give them the resources and 
support they need. Not a single member would ever vote for any proposal 
that would jeopardize the safety of our troops. The Feingold-Reid bill 
would end our involvement in the war without in any way impairing the 
safety of our brave servicemembers. By setting a March 31, 2008, 
deadline after which funding for the war will be terminated, Congress 
can provide ample time for the President to safely redeploy our troops.
  Former Solicitor General Walter Dellinger made this point at a 
Judiciary Committee hearing I chaired entitled ``Exercising Congress's 
Constitutional Power to End a War.'' Speaking of my proposal to end 
funding for the war, he said: ``There would not be one penny less for 
salary of the troops. There would not be one penny less for benefits of 
the troops. There would not be one penny less for weapons or 
ammunition. There would not be one penny less for supplies or support. 
Those troops would simply be redeployed to other areas where the armed 
forces are utilized.''
  This has been done before, in fact not that long ago. In October 
1993, Congress enacted an amendment cutting off funding for military 
operations in Somalia effective March 31, 1994, with limited 
exceptions. Seventy-six Senators voted for that amendment. Many of them 
are still in this body, such as Senator Cochran, Senator Domenici, 
Senator Hutchison, Senator Lugar, Senator McConnell, Senator Specter, 
Senator Stevens and Senator Warner. Did those 8 Senators, and the many 
Democratic Senators who joined them, act to jeopardize the safety and 
security of U.S. troops in Somalia? By cutting off funds for a military 
mission, were they indifferent to the well-being of our brave men and 
women in uniform?
  Of course not. All of these members recognized that Congress had the 
power and the responsibility to bring our military operations in 
Somalia to a close, by establishing a date after which funds would be 
  That same day, October 15, 1993, several Senators--myself included--
supported an even stronger effort to end funding for Somalia 
operations. The amendment offered by Senator McCain would have 
eliminated Somalia funding right away except for funds for withdrawal 
or in case of American POWs or MIAs not being accounted for. Thirty-
eight Senators, most of them Republicans, opposed a measure to table 
that amendment. We did so because we understood that Senator McCain was 
proposing an appropriate, safe, responsible way to use our power of the 
purse to bring an ill-conceived military mission to a close without in 
any way harming our troops. As Senator Hatch said at the time, ``The 
McCain amendment provides the President with the flexibility needed to 
bring our forces home with honor and without endangering the safety of 
American troops.''
  Feingold-Reid also allows the President to bring our brave forces 
home with honor and without endangering them in any way. It is safe, it 
is responsible, and it is long overdue.
  The President will not listen to the American people. It is up to 
this Congress--newly elected by Americans fed up with the President's 
mishandling of Iraq--to let the people's voices be heard. And it is up 
to this Congress to end a war that is undermining our national security 
and draining precious resources from the global fight against al Qaeda 
and its allies. Last November, the American people voted to end the 
war. Now it is up to Congress to do the same.
  I yield the floor.