Mark Pryor on The War in Iraq

Last Updated : Nov 14, 2012

Summary

Not Optimistic or Pessimistic

In late 2006, Senator Pryor wrote an op-ed stating that he was neither overly optimistic nor overly pessimistic about the future of Iraq. He stated that if the US were to leave too quickly then the nation would descend into chaos. He also noted that there were problems within the various cultural differences in the country and a major corruption problem that would not be solved by the US military.

Timetables for Withdrawal

In 2007, Senator Pryor opposed an amendment to an Iraq supplemental spending bill that would require public timetables for withdrawal. He stated that he supported the need for a plan for withdrawal from Iraq, but that such plans should be developed under a classified campaign to prevent giving our game plan to the enemy.

Iraq Study Group Bill

In 2007, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his support for legislation to enact the major provisions of the Iraq Study group into policy. These main recomendations included shifting the primary mission of US forces from combat to training, make US aid conditional on Iraq's progress, and launch a new diplomatic offensive in the region. Senator Pryor stated that President Bush was failing as Commander-in-Chief to provide our troops with a plan to turn over responsibility to the Iraqi people and bring them home.

Report on Redelpoyment

In October of 2007, Senator Pryor co-sponsored legislation to require a report on the status of redeployment of forces from Iraq from the Bush administration. The bill would require a report from the information within 60 days and would require reports every 90 days after that. He stated that he had been asking the administration for more than 4 years to develop a strategy to bring our troops home.

 

Op-Ed - My View in Iraq

In October of 2006, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting a recent op-ed that he authored. He stated that withdrawing too quickly would cause the country to descend into a civil war, leaving Iran as the central power in the region. He noted the cultural and corruption problems in the country and stated that the American Military cannot solve those problems.

 

Timetables for Withdrawal

In March of 2007, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his opposition to publicly announcing timetables for withdrawal. He stated that this was equivalent to handing over our game plan to the enemy. However, he did support the development of a classified campaign plan for Iraq, which includes strategic and operational benchmarks and classified redeployment dates of United States forces from Iraq as those benchmarks are met. Just a few days later he issued another statement noting his opposition to the Cochran amendment to require public timetables for withdrawal.

 

Iraq Study Group Bill

In July of 2007, Senator Pryor issued a press statement noting his support for legislation to enact the major recommendations of the Iraq Study Group. If enacted, the legislation would have shifted the mission to training, make support in Iraq conditional on Iraq's progress, and launch a new diplomatic offensive in Iraq and its neighbors.

 

Requiring a Report

In October of 2007, Senator Pryor supported legislation to require a report on the status of redeployment of forces from Iraq from the Bush administration. He stated that he had been asking the administration for more than 4 years to develop a strategy to bring our troops home.

 

Voting Record

Repealing the Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Iraq

In November of 2011, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky proposed an amendment to the yearly defense appropriations act that would have repealed the authorization for the use of force in Iraq. The amendment failed 30-67 with Democrats equally split and a vast majority of Republicans opposing the measure. Mark Pryor voted against repealing the authorization for the use of force in Iraq.

Mark Pryor voted against repealing the authorization for the use of force in Iraq.

Phased Redeployment

On March 15, 2007, S J Res 9 was put forth in an attempt to convince President Bush to commit to timetable for withdrawal of troops from Iraq. The bill was titled "United States Policy in Iraq Resolution of 2007 - Phased Redeployment" and called upon the President to begin the withdrawal of troops from Iraq within 120 days of the enactment of the legislation, and to have all troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. The bill was defeated on roll call 75, which was largely among partisan lines with 1 Republican joining the Democrats and 3 Democrats joining the rest of the Republicans. Mark Pryor voted against the phased redployment plan.

Mark Pryor voted against the phased redployment plan.

Approval of the Surge Strategy

The second piece of legislation was S 574, and it came up for a vote on February 17 and had two main points of emphasis : the Senate continued to support the troops already on the ground in Iraq; and the Senate disapproved of the President\'s surge strategy. The bill only got 56 of the 60 votes required for cloture. 7 Republicans voted in favor of the legislation while only 1 Democrat sided with the Republicans. 10 Senators cast a "No Vote" (9 R and 1 D). (roll call) Mark Pryor voted in favor of the legislation by voting for cloture. This was a vote against the surge strategy in Iraq

Mark Pryor voted in favor of the legislation by voting for cloture. This was a vote against the surge strategy in Iraq

Approval of the Surge Strategy

On January 10, 2007, President Bush announced a "surge" strategy in which 20,000 additional troops would be sent to Iraq to bolster the troops already there. In February of 2007, the US Senate voted on two bills with the purposes of expressing the Senate\'s disapproval of this strategy. S 470 was the first such piece of legislation, and it came up for a vote on the Senate floor on February 5, 2007. Along with expressing the disapproval of the Senate towards the President\'s recently announced strategy, the bill also outlined a series of strategy suggestions for the President. These suggestions included the transfer of equipment to Iraqi officials, the continuing of operations in the Anbar province, and numerous other items. The bill only got 49 of the 60 votes required for cloture. Only 2 members of each party voted with the opposing party with almost all Democrats voting to disapprove the surge and almost all Republicans voting to approve of the strategy by refusing to allow the legislation a cloture vote. (roll call 44). Mark Pryor voted in favor of S470 (disapproved of the surge) by voting for cloture.

Mark Pryor voted in favor of S470 (disapproved of the surge) by voting for cloture.

To provide for a reduction and transition of United States forces in Iraq

In September of 2007, the Senate voted on an amendment by Senator Levin to require that all troops begin to be withdrawn within 90 days. The amendment also stated that the troops remaining in Iraq would only be there for the purposes of protecting US personnel and infrastructure. Mark Pryor voted against withdrawing the troops within 90 days.

Mark Pryor voted against withdrawing the troops within 90 days.

Dwell Time

In September of 2007, the Senate voted on a measure to require US servicemen be stationed at home for an amount of time equal to their deployment time. The measure received a majority of votes, but not the number required to pass. Mark Pryor voted in favor of the measure to require equal dwell time.

Mark Pryor voted in favor of the measure to require equal dwell time.

Contract Award Overview

Later in the year, the same amendment was introduced into the Senate by Senator Dorgan. This amendment has the same purpose and failed to achieve the needed votes by a simlar margin. Mark Pryor voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

Mark Pryor voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

Contract Award Overview

In 2005, a series of accidents at military bases in Iraq which were built by US contractors such as Halliburton, prompted Congress to call for investigations into the awarding of contracts. There were two ammendments introduced to separate pieces of legislation to attempt to accomplish the goal of investigating the contract awards process. roll call 228 concerned the Dorgan amendment, and was the first attempt to establish a special committee on the awarding of contracts in Iraq. The amendment failed by a narrow margin in a 53-44 vote. Mark Pryor voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

Mark Pryor voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1825; Commission on Wartime Contracting Establishment Act - Cosponsor

A bill to provide for the study and investigation of wartime contracts and contracting processes in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom, and for other purposes.

Session-110; Bill Number-S 1545; Iraq Study Group Recommendations Implementation Act of 2007 - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of Congress: (1) that the President should formulate a comprehensive plan to implement the Iraq Study Group recommendations; (2) respecting diplomatic efforts in Iraq; and (3) respecting redeployment of U.S. combat brigades not necessary for force protection and other specified duties by the first quarter of 2008.

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