Senate Democrats

Senate Democrats Announce Joint Resolution To Transition The Mission In Iraq

Washington, DC — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid today joined Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Democratic Conference Vice Chairman Charles Schumer, Democratic Conference Secretary Patty Murray, Senator Russ Feingold, and Senator Evan Bayh to announce a new Joint Resolution to revise U.S. policy on Iraq. Iraq has fallen into a bloody civil war, and as conditions on the ground have changed so must U.S. policy change to meet them. The Reid Joint Resolution builds on the longstanding Democratic position on Iraq and the Levin-Reed Amendment: the current conflict in Iraq requires a political solution, Iraq must take responsibility for its own future, and our troops should not be policing a civil war. It contains binding language to direct the President to transition the mission for U.S. forces in Iraq and begin their phased redeployment within one-hundred twenty days with a goal of redeploying all combat forces by March 31, 2008. A limited number of troops would remain for the purposes of force protection, training and equipping Iraqi troops, and targeted counter-terror options. "The President’s strategy in Iraq is not working, and Congress must decide whether to follow his failed policies or whether to change course," said Senator Reid. "Democrats believe, as does an overwhelming majority of the American people, that the time has come to transition the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq. Hopefully, Senate Republicans will now join Democrats and the American people in calling for a change in course. They must put doing the right thing above protecting the President." "Democrats are united when it comes to changing our mission in Iraq," said Senator Schumer. "What’s happened here is that Iraq has devolved into a Civil War. And that’s not what we bargained for. That’s why Democrats believe we should change the mission from policing a civil war to focusing on counter-terrorism. We want 2007 to be a year of transition. The focus should now be on our own plan to focus on counter-terrorism. Our goal is to ratchet-up the pressure on the President to change course." "Democrats are united in our commitment to changing course in Iraq. We heard the American people and our military leaders. We heard our troops and their families. It’s time to plan to end a war that this Administration has failed to effectively prepare for and execute. I urge our Republican colleagues to stand united with us in changing course in Iraq," Senator Murray said. Senate Republicans have twice blocked the Senate from even debating the President’s policies in Iraq and have given a green light to the President’s escalation plan. Last November, the American people made a clear call for a new direction, and Democrats are committed to bringing stability to Iraq and bringing our troops home from a civil war.