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Progressive Caucus Legislation Aims to Stop BushCo "End Run" for Permanent Iraq Bases

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-08-08 10:22 PM
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Progressive Caucus Legislation Aims to Stop BushCo "End Run" for Permanent Iraq Bases
Progressives Introduce New Legislation to Reassert Congress Co-Equal Constitutional Authority and Block Bush Administration End-Run to Permanently Base US Troops in Iraq

WASHINGTON, DC - March 7 - U.S. Representatives Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, Co-Chairs of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and other CPC Members, including U.S. Representative Maxine Waters, Chair of the Out of Iraq Caucus, have introduced new Iraq-related legislation to reassert the constitutional powers of Congress in the shaping and conduct of U.S. foreign policy. The Foreign Commitments, Congressional Powers, and Status of Forces Resolution will also enable the U.S. House of Representatives to make crystal clear that President Bush cannot skirt the Congress and commit U.S. troops to permanent or enduring U.S. bases inside Iraq or any other country by any other means than a treaty, statute, or concurrent resolution of both Houses of Congress specifically providing for such a foreign commitment. (See copy attached.)

The Bush administration cannot unilaterally establish a long term military presence in Iraq, tying the hands of future presidents, without Congressional approval, Congresswoman Lee declared. This resolution is intended to hold President Bush accountable to the bills he has signed into law that include provisions prohibiting permanent military bases in Iraq. Lee also pointed out, The Bush administration negotiated the Declaration of Principles in secret and then sought to characterize this sweeping agreement as an innocuous Status of Forces Agreement to circumvent Congressional scrutiny and approval. The plain fact, however, is that the Declaration of Principles cannot possibly be deemed a status of forces agreement because, among other things, it explicitly calls for security assurances and commitments to the Republic of Iraq to deter foreign aggression against Iraq that violates its sovereignty and integrity of its territories, waters, or airspace.

President Bush seems to forget that Congress is a co-equal branch of government, and as such must be involved in the signing of foreign treaties, Congresswoman Woolsey said. With this move the President is sending a dangerous signal to the people of Iraq that the US has a long term interest in occupying their country, a move that will only inflame the insurgency. The President has already left a disastrous legacy to his successor; this action will only make it harder for our next leader to clean up the mess that he left behind.

Last November, President Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki suddenly co-signed the U.S. and Iraq Declaration of Principles for Friendship and Cooperation, a shared statement of their intent that establishes common principles to frame the future relationship between the two countries. At that time, President Bush stated publicly that the relationship envisioned in this Declaration will encompass U.S.-Iraqi collaboration in the political, diplomatic, economic, and security arenas. Furthermore, President Bush is committed to completing negotiations of the detailed arrangements by July, 2008 that will codify the U.S.-Iraq bilateral relationship after Iraqs Chapter VII status under the UN Charter has expired and the concomitant restoration of Iraqs legal international status.

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