Letter on Iraq Study Group Bill

Friends Committee for National Legislation

Global Ministries' partner, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, asks you to join with them in sending the below sign-on letter to Congress.  The letter asks Members to cosponsor and press for a vote on the Iraq Study Group Implementation Act that was introduced in both the House and Senate in early June with unprecedented bipartisan support. 

As the letter says, although we believe that Congress should take additional steps to end the Iraq war, we think that enactment of the ISG bill now would lay the foundation of a new U.S. policy for Iraq and the Middle East.  (Our analysis of the bill is at http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item_id=2683&issue_id=35; a shorter take on the politics of the moment, where the quest for partisan advantage seems to be trumping efforts to change policy, is at http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item_id=2714&issue_id=35.)

There is a reasonable prospect that the ISG bill can be enacted.  Our own efforts and this sign-on letter are aimed, first, at having the bill attached as an amendment to the defense authorization bill that the Senate will take up when it returns from recess on July 9.  Sen. Lugar's statement on Iraq and the Middle East and Sen. Voinovich's letter to the president earlier this week increase the chance that we can persuade the Senate to act on the ISG bill now.

We hope that the bipartisan support that the ISG bill enjoys will make it possible for many religious organizations to unite behind it.


Friends Committee for National Legislation

Global Ministries' partner, the Friends Committee on National Legislation, asks you to join with them in sending the below sign-on letter to Congress.  The letter asks Members to cosponsor and press for a vote on the Iraq Study Group Implementation Act that was introduced in both the House and Senate in early June with unprecedented bipartisan support. 

As the letter says, although we believe that Congress should take additional steps to end the Iraq war, we think that enactment of the ISG bill now would lay the foundation of a new U.S. policy for Iraq and the Middle East.  (Our analysis of the bill is at http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item_id=2683&issue_id=35; a shorter take on the politics of the moment, where the quest for partisan advantage seems to be trumping efforts to change policy, is at http://www.fcnl.org/issues/item.php?item_id=2714&issue_id=35.)

There is a reasonable prospect that the ISG bill can be enacted.  Our own efforts and this sign-on letter are aimed, first, at having the bill attached as an amendment to the defense authorization bill that the Senate will take up when it returns from recess on July 9.  Sen. Lugar's statement on Iraq and the Middle East and Sen. Voinovich's letter to the president earlier this week increase the chance that we can persuade the Senate to act on the ISG bill now.

We hope that the bipartisan support that the ISG bill enjoys will make it possible for many religious organizations to unite behind it.


Dear Senator/Representative,

On behalf of the organizations listed below we urge you to take steps to enact the bipartisan Iraq Study Group Implementation Act (S. 1545/H.R. 2574).  We believe that the Baker-Hamilton approach offers all Members of Congress an acceptable and pragmatic pathway to a new U.S. policy on Iraq at a time when the administration's policy is a demonstrable failure.  Each of our organizations may find fault with some recommendation or another, but we agree that Baker-Hamilton, at a minimum, should be the stated policy of Congress at this time.

If you are already a cosponsor, we thank you for supporting this important bipartisan legislation.  We write now to urge you to press for Senate/House floor action on this bill at the earliest possible date. 

If you have not yet cosponsored the ISG Implementation Act, we ask that you do so now and also work to obtain an early vote on the bill.

The ISG implementation bill has solid bipartisan support (currently 4 Democrats and 5 Republicans in the Senate and 24 Democrats and 29 Republicans in the House).  Its enactment would establish a bipartisan foundation for a new U.S. policy in Iraq.  The ISG bill:

  • mandates sustained negotiations with Iran, Syria, and Iraq's other neighbors; 
  • requires the U.S. to declare that it does not seek to maintain permanent military bases in Iraq or control Iraqi oil;
  • envisions a transition of the U.S. military role from combat to training and the removal of most U.S. combat troops by March 2008; 
  • conditions continued U.S. political, military, and economic support for the Iraqi government on progress in meeting national reconciliation benchmarks; and 
  • establishes significant congressional oversight by requiring the president to report every three months on actions taken to implement provisions of the act.

Congress can and should take additional steps to end the U.S. war and occupation in Iraq, and bring peace and stability to the Middle East.  But Congress can first unite around the Iraq Study Group Implementation act to provide strong bipartisan support for the sound foundation needed to overcome past policy failures and set the U.S. on a new course in Iraq and the Middle East 

We strongly urge you to support S. 1545 / H.R. 2574 and to press for a vote on this important bipartisan initiative.  Thank you very much for your consideration.

Sincerely,


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