Reps. Neil Abercrombie (D-HI) and Walter Jones (R-NC) will begin collecting signatures after the Thanksgiving recess intended to force a discussion on a process to begin withdrawing American troops from Iraq no later than Oct. 31, 2006, RAW STORY has learned.
A Roll Call article today incorrectly reported that the discharge petition would begin today. The petitioners must collect 218 signatures to force debate on the resolution. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has introduced resolutions on several occasions, unsuccessfully, to force discussion of the Iraq war.
Teh Senate will likely approve a Republican amendment today that requires the administration to produce a long-term strategy for ending the war but does not demand a specific timetable. Senators defeated an amendment offered by Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) which would require the administration to lay out a timetable to exit Iraq.
Asked whether there was ample support to force a discussion on an Iraq timetable in the House, a spokesman for Rep. Abercrombie said it was too early to tell.
“I think it’s hard to say,” Abercrombie press secretary Mike Slackman said. "There’s a growing desire among Democrats and really among Republicans to to try to get some kind of exit strategy in place so that we’re not bogged down indefinitely in Iraq.”
“It basically calls on the President to establish a timetable," Slackman added. “Establishing a timeline is certainly going to give the Iraqis the incentive that they need” in order to defend their own country. “If they have reason to believe that American troops are going to stay there indefinitely it sort of takes away all of the incentive that they have to take the lead and responsibility for their own security.”
The timetable push in the House is being spearheaded by the Out of Iraq caucus, a 69-member group led by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA).