Lee: Poll says Congress must redeploy troops

This morning, on the fifth anniversary of the House vote to authorize military force against Iraq, Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, rolled out new poll results showing both strong opposition to Congress providing further Iraq funding without conditions, and broad support for Congress acting to end the Bush administration’s policy in Iraq by providing the funding necessary for the redeployment of U.S. troops out of Iraq.

lee3.jpg“Five years ago today, over the strong objections of many of those present, Congress voted to authorize this war. We are here today to say not only that Congress has the power to end it, but that the American people support us doing so,” Lee said at a Capitol Hill news conference. “The President wants to pretend that Congress’ only choice is to provide the funds he has requested unconditionally or ‘cut off funding for our troops.’ That’s just not true. We can use our constitutionally mandated appropriations power to end his failed policy, to protect our troops and to bring them home. We have the power to fully fund redeployment, and that is what we must do.”

Lee was joined by some of the 86 members of Congress who have signed a letter to President Bush — circulated by Lee; Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma; and Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Los Angeles — stating that they will only vote for Iraq-related funding to protect US troops and bring them home.

More specifics of the poll, after the jump…

Asked what Congress should do with President Bush’s pending Iraq supplemental request, the poll found that 70 percent of respondents want Congress to either vote against the request or to require that funds can only be used to protect troops and bring them home, and that by a two to one margin respondents favored requiring funds be spent on redeployment over providing the administration funds without conditions.

Specifically, the poll asked respondents “President Bush wants Congress to approve a $200 billion dollar request to continue funding the Iraq war and keep the troops in Iraq. Should Congress: (read and rotate) vote against the $200 billion funding request; vote for the $200 billion funding request without conditions; or vote for the $200 billion funding request, but specify that it can be used ONLY to protect US troops and contractors and bring them home, rather than to continue the war.”

Twenty four percent of respondents supported voting against the funding, 22 percent supported unconditional funding and 46 percent supported providing funding only for redeployment (eight percent responded “don’t know”). Results were similar among registered voters: 22 percent supported voting against the funds, 23 percent supported unconditional funding and 47 percent supported providing funds only for redeployment (seven percent responded “don’t know”).

The poll of 1,000 adults (including 796 registered voters) nationwide was concucted September 20-23; designed by Lake Research Partners; and administered by Caravan as part of an omnibus telephone survey. The margin of error for the full sample of adults is +/- 3.1% and +/- 3.5% among registered voters. It was commissioned by OneVoicePac.org, Lee’s leadership PAC.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.