Entry for October 25, 2005: 2000 US Soldiers

“Death on the Barricades”–1849 woodcut by German artist Alfred Rethel, The Web Gallery of Art  

Legislation before Congress to Shorten Iraq Occupation

At 1:49 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on October 25, CNN  announced that the Department of Defense’s death toll for U.S. soldiers in Iraq reached 2,000. The latest poll sponsored jointly by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News on October 10 to 12, finds that a majority of Americans believe that the war was not worth either the deaths or the financial investment and want troups reduced.

Now, in addition to called for demonstrations against the death toll,  United for Peace and Justsice  is calling for Free Press readers to schedule meetings with Congressman Rick Boucher and their other representatives as part of campaign to visit at least 100 representatives before Thanksgiving and ask them to support measure currently before Congress designed to limit the war.  As of October 25, Congressman Boucher had not signed on to co-sponsor any measures. 
UFPJ first organized delegations of over 1000 citizens to visit over 300 senators, representatives and/or their aides on September 26 to lobby for support of those measures currently as a part of the September mobilization against the war in Iraq it co-sponsored. (see NRFP * issue.

The first measure, House Resolution 551, was introduced February 2, 2005 by Representative Michael Honda.  The “Student Privacy Protection Act of 2005”  requires schools to notify each secondary school’s parent of the option to consent in writing to a release of the student’s name, address, and telephone listing to military recruiters and to  provide military recruiters, upon their request, with access to such information only if the student’s parent has given such written consent.  As of October 25, the bill has 66 co-sponsors,  2 of whom signed on after lobby day.  Republican Trent Franks withdrew his support October 20.  On March 24, it was referred to the House subcommittee on Education Reform.

Senate Resolution 171 was introduced on June 14 by Senator Russell Feingold.  It expresses the sense of the Senate that: (1) the United States should remain committed to providing long-term diplomatic and political support to Iraq; (2) the United States should continue to pursue a robust and multi-faceted campaign against international terrorist networks in Iraq and around the world; and (3) not later than 30 days after the Senate agrees to this resolution, the President should report to Congress describing the Armed Forces’ remaining mission in Iraq, and a time frame for the subsequent withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. The resolution has only one co-sponsor, Senator Barbara Boxer.

House Joint Resolution 55 was introduced on June 15 by Representative Neil Abercrombie.  The Homeward Bound” bill declares that it is U.S. policy to: “(1) announce, not later than December 31, 2005, a plan for the withdrawal of all U.S. Armed Forces from Iraq; (2) turn over, at the earliest possible date, all military operations in Iraq to the elected government of Iraq and provide for the prompt and orderly withdrawal of all U.S. Armed Forces from Iraq; and (3) initiate such a withdrawal as soon as possible but not later than October 1, 2006.  As of October 25, the bill had 62 co-sponsors, 4 of whom, including Republican John Duncan of Tennessee, had signed on after the lobby day.  It has been referred to the House Committees on International Relations and Armed Services.

House Congressional Resolution 197 was introduced June 30 by Representative Barbara Lee.  The “No Permanent Bases” bill declares that it is U.S. policy not to enter into any base agreement with the government of Iraq that would lead to a permanent U.S. military presence in Iraq. As of October 25, the bill has 57 co-sponsors, 10 of whom has signed on after lobby day.  It has been referred to the House Committee on International Relations.

UPJ is also asking that members of Congress to join Join the Out of Iraq Congressional Working Group.  The Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus was created during the second week of June 2005 to increase pressure on the Bush administration and Congress to end the Iraq conflict and bring American forces home.  Representatives Maxine Waters, Charles Rangel, Barbara Lee, Lynn Woolsey, Xavier Becerra, John Conyers, and John Lewis are leading the Causcus,  which had 41 members at its launch and 50 members as of June 20.  After the September mobilization, three new members (Lois Capps (D-CA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), and Richard Neal (D-MA)) joined.

Sue Udry, of UFPJ’s legislative working group is available to answer questions at
301-565-4050, Ext. 315 (voice), 301-325-1201 (cell) or you can email her.     To track the current status of legislations, see  the Library of Congress’s information site, Thomas.  

(a version will also appear in the New River Free Press)

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