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Barbara Lee, David Obey and Jim McGovern: Willing to Take a Stand on Afghanistan

It’s refreshing to see members of Congress take a stand for what they believe in.

Not content with being a rubber stamp for the Presidents policy on Afghanistan, a group of Democrats in Congress have decided to take their responsibility of oversight seriously. Ratcheting up pressure on President Obama, Democrats in the House of Representatives are expected to offer two amendments to the supplemental war spending bill, which, if passed, would represent a significant step towards ending U.S. military involvement in Afghanistan.

The first amendment, sponsored by Reps. Jim McGovern (MA) and David Obey (WI), would require President Obama to present Congress with a timeline for withdrawal from Afghanistan. The second amendment, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Lee (CA) would remove military funding for Afghanistan from the supplemental. The supplemental is expected to be voted on by the end of this week.

Below is the language for each amendment :



McGovern-Obey Amendment:

This amendment would require the president to present Congress with 1) a new National Intelligence Estimate on Afghanistan by January 31, 2011 and 2) a plan by April 4, 2011 on the safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, including a timeframe for the completion of the redeployment.  The amendment also requires Congress to vote by July 2011 if it wants to allow the obligation and expenditure of funds for Afghanistan in a manner that is not consistent with the president’s announced policy of December 2009 to begin to drawdown troops by July 2011. The amendment also requires quarterly reports to Congress on the status of the plan submitted to Congress and strengthens and expands oversight of private contractors in Afghanistan to deal more effectively with corruption, waste, fraud and abuse.  Last, the amendment clarifies that no part of the amendment shall limit the president’s ability to attack al Qaeda, gather and share intelligence with allies in Afghanistan and Pakistan, or modify U.S. military strategy on-the-ground over the period of redeployment.

Lee Amendment:

This amendment would strike military funding for Afghanistan from the Afghan war funding bill.


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