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On the evening of May 25, the US House of Representatives considered an amendment offered by Representative Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) calling for an exit strategy from Iraq. Amendment No. 26 simply stated:
"It is the sense of Congress that the president should -
(1) develop a plan as soon as practicable after the date of the enactment of this Act to provide for the withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq; and
(2) transmit to the congressional defense committees a report that contains the plan described in paragraph (1)."
The simple resolution was a moderate one. It set no specific timetable for withdrawal-in an effort to make it easy for members of Congress to agree. After all, we always claim we intend to leave Iraq. This amendment was an opportunity to make leaving Iraq the policy of the United States. The amendment, part of the debate on the authorization for the Department of Defense was allotted 30 minutes on the floor of the House of Representatives-15 minutes for each side.
In the end the amendment failed-by a vote of 300 to 128 with 5 not voting. Because Rep. Woolsey insisted on a roll call vote we now know who needs to be convinced. There were some disappointing votes including the Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, as well as members generally seen as liberals, including Rep. Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Stenny Hoyer (D-MD), Rep. Sanchez (D-CA) and Rep. Udall (D-CO). Five Republicans voted for the amendment, most notably Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) who is well known for insisting that the french fries sold in the Capitol be re-named "Freedom Fries."