Joe Sestak on The War in Iraq

Last Updated : Jul 01, 2010

Summary

Congressman Sestak favors a responsible withdrawal from Iraq to begin immediately.  He has not made definitive comments about his opinion on the validity of the war in Iraq - most likely due to his military service at the time the war began.  He has stated that America's national security has been harmed by the war.

Congressman Sestak has repeatedly called for a withdrawal from Iraq at the fastest pace possible and to increase the amount of air power to compensate.  In his campaign literature, he stated that "the Army will rapidly unravel if redeployment from Iraq does not begin before Spring 2008".  He also stated “Ending the War in Iraq is necessary, but how we end it is of even greater importance for both our security and our troops’ safety.”

He has stated that we must refocus our attention on Afghanistan and Pakistan.

 

Funding for war - redeploy

In December of 2006, Congressman Sestak stated in a press conference that he would not vote to cut off funding and that this was not a valid technique to end the war.  He states that he wants to redeploy entirely out of Iraq

 

Redeployment

Congressman Sestak appeared on Fox news in February of 2009 and stated that he agreed with Obama's recent withdrawal plan.  He stated that the war has made the US less safe.

 

Opposition to the Surge

In February of 2007, Congress was debating a resolution which expressed opposition to President Bush's buildup of troops in Iraq , known as the Surge.  Congressman Sestak took to the House floor and spoke in support of the resolution and in opposition to the surge.

 

HR 3683 and Press Release

In 2007, Congressman Sestak introduced the Bipartisan Iraq bill.  The bill was designed to withdrawal troops from Iraq within 20 months.  In the press release in October to promote the bill, Congressman Sestak stated that "the Army will rapidly unravel if redeployment from Iraq does not begin before Spring 2008."  The full press release is stated below.

 

Campaign Website Statements

 

Official Website Statements

 

Voting Record

Disapproval of the Surge Strategy

In February of 2007, the house passed a resolution disapproving of President Bush\'s recently announced surge strategy in Iraq. The vote on the bill was largely partisan, with a vast majority of Democrats supporting the legislation and thus disapproved of the surge. Although the resolution passed the house in roll call 99, it was not voted on in the Senate. Joe Sestak voted in favor of this resolution and thus opposed the surge.

Joe Sestak voted in favor of this resolution and thus opposed the surge.

Requirement for Iraq Redeployment Strategy

In October 2007, the House put forth yet another resolution to require that President Bush submit a strategy for redeployment from Iraq. The bill explicitly stated that it endorsed to specific action, but rather required that the Secretary of Defense submit a strategy to congress for the redeployment of troops from Iraq within 60 days of the resolution. Although the resolution passed the House with bipartisan support, it was not voted on in the Senate. Joe Sestak voted to support the Requirement for Iraq Redeployment Strategy.

Joe Sestak voted to support the Requirement for Iraq Redeployment Strategy.

Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act

In July of 2007, the House again addressed the issue of redeploying troops from the Iraqi theatre. This bill had the same goal as other resolutions to redeploy troops, but lacked the removal of funding that enforced the resolution. Although a small number of members from both side crossed party lines, the resolution passed in roll call 624 among largely partisan lines. Joe Sestak voted to support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.

Joe Sestak voted to support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.

Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act

The Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act was an attempt by House Democrats to bring the number of American military members in Iraq to a limited number by April 1, 2008. The measure passed the House in a 223-201 vote, but was never raised in the Senate. Joe Sestak voted to support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.

Joe Sestak voted to support the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.

Iraq Transition Act

The Iraq Transition Act was a bill to to require the Secretary of Defense to commence the reduction of the number of United States Armed Forces in Iraq to a limited presence by April 1, 2008, and for other purposes. The bill passed the House 221-196 but was never raised in the Senate. Joe Sestak voted against this resolution to limit troops by April 1, 2008.

Joe Sestak voted against this resolution to limit troops by April 1, 2008.

Troop Redeployment in 180 days

In May of 2007, the House attempted to pass a resolution to require that President Bush begin redeployment of troops from Iraq within 90 days and complete the withdrawal within 180 days. To enforce the resolution, language was added to restrict funding for any actions other than redeployment. Almost all Republicans opposed the resolution, and when a significant portion of Democrats joined the Republicans the resolution failed in roll call 330. Joe Sestak voted to withdraw troops in 180 days.

Joe Sestak voted to withdraw troops in 180 days.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

This representative has not been identified as sponsoring or cosponsoring significant legislation related to this title.

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