On Thursday we covered the announcement of hearings to be held by Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) in the House Judiciary Committee and by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Conyers' hearing will look at the questions of legality surrounding Bush's "Signing Statements" and Feingold will look at issues surround de-funding the War in Iraq in advance of a legislative proposal to do just that. More details, and the expected witnesses for both of those hearings are in our previous article.
The BRAD BLOG has now obtained details from Feingold's office concerning what his proposal to exercise Congressional control of the purse strings over military deployment in Iraq will and won't do. A fact sheet concerning his upcoming legislation and how the defunding and re-deployment of U.S. troops would be conducted is below.
As well, the statement lists several other historical instances in which Congress voted to hold back funding while American troops were deployed, including in 1998 when the Republican-controlled legislature included a provision in a Defense Authorization bill prohibiting additional funding for U.S. troops in Bosnia after a date-certain, unless certain assurances were given to Congress by then-President Bill Clinton.
Feingold's fact-sheet follows in full...
U.S. Senator Russ Feingold will soon propose legislation to force the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops out of Iraq within six months of enactment.
Feingold’s legislation will:
- Prohibit the use of funds for the continued deployment of U.S. Armed forces to the Republic of Iraq after six months of enactment.
- Require the Administration to report to Congress a strategy for safely redeploying U.S. forces from Iraq within the six months prior to the fund termination date.
- Allow for specific exceptions to the prohibition including to:
- Conduct targeted counter-terrorism operations in Iraq.
- Allow a limited number of U.S. forces to conduct specific training for Iraqi security services.
- Provide security for U.S. infrastructure and civilian personnel.
Feingold’s legislation will not:
- Prohibit or restrict funds for the safe and orderly withdrawal of the Armed Forces personnel from Iraq.
- Prohibit or restrict funds for the troops remaining in Iraq for purposes listed above.
- Prohibit funds for any department or agency of the Government of the United States to carry out political, economic, or general reconstruction activities in Iraq.
On numerous occasions, Congress has exercised its constitutional authority to limit the President’s ability to escalate existing military engagements. Here are just a few examples:
- Cambodia – In late December 1970, Congress passes the Supplemental Foreign Assistance Appropriations Act prohibiting the use of funds to finance the introduction of United States ground combat troops into Cambodia or to provide U.S. advisors to or for Cambodian military forces in Cambodia.
- Vietnam – In late June 1973, Congress passes the second Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY1973. This legislation contains language cutting off funds for combat activities in Vietnam after August 15, 1973.
- Somalia – In November 1993, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act includes a provision that prohibits funding after March 31, 1994 for military operations in Somalia, except for a limited number of military personnel to protect American diplomatic personnel and American citizens, unless further authorized by Congress.
- Bosnia – In 1998, Congress passes the Defense Authorization Bill, with a provision that prohibits funding for Bosnia after June 30, 1998, unless the President makes certain assurances.