Iraq Supplemental Markup: The Lewis Amendment

March 15, 2007
UPDATE: The bill has been approved, 36-28, with an amendment by Rep. Murtha to keep Walter Reed open. The changes in the Lewis Amendment to strip the readiness and Iraqi government benchmark provisions were supported unanimously by Republicans, and opposed unanimously by Democrats, failing 37-27.

Ranking Member Jerry Lewis (R-CA) offered an amendment during the committee markup which would have stripped language from the Iraq supplemental restricting the use of troops who are not properly equipped or trained, with the only exception being when President Bush is willing to publicly certify it is necessary, along with language requiring that the Iraqi government meet the benchmarks previously laid out by President Bush. The effort was defeated shortly after Appropriations Defense Subcommittee Chairman John Murtha spoke against it:

Rep. John Murtha:

"This has been so mismanaged over so long a period of time that it's hard to settle it in the Appropriations Committee. But we can't let it go on like this where the troops continually go back overseas being redeployed, redeployed... You're suggesting we send them back ill-equipped and untrained? You're not suggesting that?"