Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) has an op-ed in today’s Washington Post expressing his and Senator Jack Reed’s (D-RI) support for a timetable to end the war in Iraq with a firm end date. This is an important step by both of my colleagues. Both Senators previously had been critical of using a timetable with a firm end date to end one of the biggest mistakes in the history of our country. Their change of mind on the issue of imposing a firm end date along with the declaration that they would soon be introducing legislation nearly identical to my proposal from 2005 is welcome news.However, Senator Levin went on in his op-ed to grossly mischaracterize the legislation Majority Leader Harry Reid and I have introduced as somehow cutting or “stopping funding for the troops.” That is extremely disappointing as it is well known that the Feingold-Reid bill ends funding for this war after our men and women in uniform have been safely redeployed out of Iraq.Senator Levin and others need to stop using the Administration’s talking points to mischaracterize the Feingold-Reid bill. Instead, they should join with a majority of Senate Democrats and support the Feingold-Reid plan to safely redeploy our troops by March 31, 2008 – and then end funding for the mistake in Iraq.
After all, Senator Levin and many others now in the Senate supported using Congress’s ‘power of the purse’ before. In October of 1993, they voted for a similar effort with regard to Somalia. At that time, 75 Senators voted for an amendment to set a deadline after which funding for the military mission in Somalia would end and our troops would be safely redeployed. That bill was passed into law.
I’m not sure why some Democrats and many Republicans have flipped on this issue in the 14 years since. What I am sure of is that our combined effort to end the huge mistake of Iraq is gaining ground. But we still have more work to do. Click here to contact your elected official and tell them to support the Feingold-Reid approach to end the war in Iraq.
Thanks for your continued support.
United States Senator
Honorary Chair, Progressive Patriots Fund