Monday, July 9, 2007

The Senate To Consider Out of Iraq Amendments To The 2008 Defense Authorization Act -- Back To work

After a refreshing recess Senators return to work facing a battle over the S.1548 - Department of Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. See also the companion S. 1547 the Military Construction Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008. According to John M. Donnelly of Democratic leaders plan to introduce four amendments to bring about changes in the Iraq war.

But all four face almost insurmountable obstacles on their journey to enactment.

One measure would set a largely advisory timeline for withdrawing most U.S. combat troops from Iraq, a provision similar to the one President Bush vetoed as part of a war supplemental (HR 1591) last month. Another would rewrite Congress’ 2002 authorization for the war (PL 107-243). A third would set readiness standards for U.S. military units. And a fourth would require the withdrawal of all but a limited set of U.S. forces by April.

Bush still is likely to veto a bill — probably the fiscal 2008 defense authorization (S 1547) — that carries one or more of the four provisions. But Democrats hope political pressure to end the war will have increased significantly before the bill reaches Bush’s desk, possibly this fall.
First up will be the Webb Deployment Amendment. According to Lisa Burgess of Stars and Stripes Webb described the bill in a speech on the Senate floor before the recess as basically providing that
on the active side, however long an individual has been deployed, they have to be allowed to stay home at least that long before you send them back.

If you’re Guard and Reserve, however long you’ve been deployed, you have to be able to have been at home at least three times that length before you’re sent back, because of the nature of the Guard and Reserve.
Among the 9 cosponsors are Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.).

As of right now the four proposed Amendments have not been loaded in OpenCongress. I am sure that will change as the week moves along.