Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Oakland, on Tuesday introduced the Iraq Security Agreement Act of 2008, which would prohibit the President from unilaterally deploying U.S. armed forces or expending public funds to guarantee Iraq’s security without Congress’ prior approval. Her bill, H.R. 6846, matches a similar one introduced last month in the Senate by Democratic vice-presidential nominee U.S. Sen. Joe Biden, D-Del.
“This bill puts Congress clearly on record in support of the bedrock principle that congressional involvement and approval is required before the President can enter into any agreement obligating the United States to the defense of Iraq from internal or external threats,” Lee said in her news release.
“An agreement to commit American troops to the defense and security of another country is not routine or typical or minor. It is a major commitment that must have the support of the American people, which can only be reflected by the Congress of the United States. My legislation ensures that the Congress has the final say in determining whether and under what conditions the United States will commit more blood and treasure to guarantee the security of the sovereign nation of Iraq.”
This bill codifies a Defense Authorization bill amendment offered by Lee and adopted earlier this year by a bipartisan majority in the House. Rep. Lynn Woolsey, D-Petaluma, is among the bill’s 10 cosponsors.