Jim DeMint on The War in Iraq

Last Updated : Dec 15, 2010

Summary

Senator DeMint voted to grant President Bush the authority to use force in Iraq, and has been supportive of the war. When Democrats assumed control of Congress in 2006 and attempted to pass resolutions calling for time-tables for withdraw, Senator DeMint was a vocal critic of those actions. He called resolutions calling for time-tables resolutions of defeat and disgrace.

When the Democratic majority opposed the surge tactic put forth by President Bush, they attempted to pass a resolution condemning the plan. Senator DeMint was vocal in his disappointment of the resolution. He stated that Americans are not against the war in Iraq, they are against losing. He noted that victory in Iraq is critical to winning the War on Terror and maintaining American credibility in the Middle East and the throughout the world, and that terrorists are betting that Americans do not have the will to finish the fight in Iraq. He stated in a floor speech that the Democrats were not acting as leaders, but rather as critics with no real plan of their own.

 

Time Tables for Withdrawal

In June of 2006, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting his opposition to recent legislation put forth to force a withdrawal from Iraq, or establish timetables for withdrawal.

In March of 2007, Senator DeMint released another press statement noting his continued opposition to continued efforts by the Democrats to pass withdrawal legislation.

In March of 2007, Senator DeMint again released a statement noting his opposition to timetables and his opposition to a spending bill that he said was loaded with pork.

 

Support for the Surge

In January of 2007, Senator DeMint released a press statement noting that he supported a recently announced strategy by President Bush.

 That same month, Senator DeMint appeared on MSNBC and wrote an op-ed which described the Democratic actions in opposing the surge tactic which called the Democratic actions as those of critics and not those of leaders. He also spoke on the Senate floor and made the same statements.

In February of that year, Senator DeMint released another press statement objecting to another vote for what he called a "resolution of defeat."

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of 2011, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky proposed an amendment to the yearly defense appropriations act that would have repealed the authorization for the use of force in Iraq.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. Jim DeMint voted in favor of repealing the authorization for the use of force in Iraq.

Jim DeMint voted in favor of 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. Jim DeMint voted against the phased redployment plan.

Jim DeMint 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) Jim DeMint voted against the legislation by voting against cloture. This was a vote of support for the surge strategy in Iraq

Jim DeMint voted against the legislation by voting against cloture. This was a vote of support for 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). Jim DeMint voted against cloture on S470 and therefore supported the surge.

Jim DeMint voted against cloture on S470 and therefore supported the surge.

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. Jim DeMint voted against withdrawing the troops within 90 days.

Jim DeMint 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. Jim DeMint voted against the measure to require equal dwell time.

Jim DeMint voted against 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. Jim DeMint voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

Jim DeMint voted against 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. Jim DeMint voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

Jim DeMint voted against the amendment to create the special committee.

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

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

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