House Approves Iraq Timetable
The House of Representatives narrowly passed the hotly debated timeline for getting American troops out of Iraq by Aug. 31, 2008. Bush has indicated he will veto the bill. In a statement to the press, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said: “The American people see the reality of war. The president does not.”
WASHINGTON, March 23 — The House of Representatives voted today, by the narrowest possible margin and after an unusually emotional debate, to set a timetable for bringing American troops home from Iraq.
The bill received 218 votes in favor, the minimum needed for passage in the 435-seat chamber. There were 212 votes opposed. The Democratic leadership held the voting open for two additional minutes past the originally scheduled 15 to lock up the majority. Vote-counters had predicted beforehand that the outcome would be very close.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the legislation, which took the form of an emergency spending bill, “a giant step to end the war and responsibly redeploy our troops out of Iraq” and concentrate on Afghanistan, “where the war on terrorism is.”