Yesterday Congress moved one step closer to representing the majority of Americans who believe the war in Afghanistan has not been worth the sacrifice of over 1,000 American service members and $1 trillion and voting to end the war. Congressional opposition to our failed strategy in Afghanistan was reflected in growing support for the efforts of leaders like Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and (D-CA) to responsibly bring our troops home.
An amendment offered by Reps. McGovern, Obey (D-WI) and Jones (R-NC) compelling the administration to present Congress with an exit strategy and timetable for the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan was supported by 162 . That is 24 votes more than a less binding amendment introduced by a year ago received and represents 60% of the Democratic caucus. Importantly, this amendment was supported by . The Speaker rarely votes on controversial matters and her support here sends a strong signal to the administration that it’s time to end the war in Afghanistan.
Also gaining increased support in Congress was an amendment offered by Rep. Barbara Lee that would restrict funding to the safe withdrawal of our troops from Afghanistan. Similar language introduced by the Congresswoman last year to the 2010 Defense Appropriation wasn’t allowed out of Committee, but this year gained the support of 100 Members of the House of Representatives.
Although these amendments were ultimately defeated by a coalition of Blue Dog Democrats and the Republican minority, two things are clear: Opposition to the war in Congress has grown significantly over the last year, and that is in no small part the result of efforts by thousands of activists from across the country. Dozens of organizations representing millions of Americans have worked over the last year to push Congress to represent a majority of Americans and end the war. The result of that work by citizens like you — calling, emailing and meeting with their Members of Congress — is on display in these votes.
Roll Call vote on the McGovern-Obey-Jones Amendment: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll433.xml
Roll call vote on the Lee Amendment: http://clerk.house.gov/evs/2010/roll432.xml