Maria Cantwell on The War in Iraq

Last Updated : Feb 09, 2011

Response to Presidential Address

In September of 2002, Senator Cantwell released a press statement in response to President Bush's address to the UN on Iraq. She noted that he made the case for the war in Iraq.

 

Iraq War Resolution

In October of 2002, Senator Cantwell spoke on the Senate floor about her vote in favor of authorizing the use of force in Iraq. She asserted that although she voted in favor of the use of force, she still sought 5 items to be met before this action should be taken.

 

The Start of the War

In October of 2003, Senator Cantwell released a statement noting the start of the Iraqi war and her support for the troops.

The following day, Senator Cantwell spoke on the Senate floor about the war and her support for the troops.

 

Supplemental Funding Bill

In October of 2003, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her beliefs on funding and the wars. 

 

Reaction to Meeting with President

In April of 2005, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting a meeting that she held with President Bush's administration and voiced concerns over the war in Iraq.

 

Opposition to Permanent Bases

In August of 2006, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her opposition to permanent bases in Iraq.

 

Political Settlement

In August of 2006, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting the need for a political settlement in Iraq.

 

Reconstruction Contracts

In November of 2006, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting efforts to extend investigations into military contracts in Iraq.

 

Response to Iraq Study Group

In December of 2006, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her response to the Iraq Study Group.

 

Response to the Surge

In January of 2007, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her initial opposition to the surge.

In February of 2007, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her continued opposition to the surge and her support for measures to force a withdrawal from Iraq. 

 

Bring the Troops Home

In March of 2007, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her support for legislation that would bring the troops home.

 

Troop Deployments

In April of 2007, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her opposition to a Bush administration decision to extend troop deployment dates.

 

Votes to Withdraw Troops

In November of 2007, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her support for legislation to withdraw troops from Iraq.

In December of 2007, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting several recent votes taken on redeployment from Iraq.

In May of 2008, Senator Cantwell voted again to reduce the troop levels in Iraq and released a press statement noting the vote.

 

Troops Redeployment

In April of 2008, Senator Cantwell released a press statement noting her disapproval of a recent Bush decision to stop removing troops from Iraq.

 

Official Website Statements

 

 

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. Maria Cantwell voted in favor of repealing the authorization for the use of force in Iraq.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the phased redeployment plan.

Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the phased redeployment 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) Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the legislation by voting for cloture. This was a vote against the surge strategy in Iraq

Maria Cantwell 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). Maria Cantwell voted in favor of S470 (disapproved of the surge) by voting for cloture.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted in favor of withdrawing the troops from Iraq.

Maria Cantwell voted in favor of withdrawing the troops from Iraq.

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. Maria Cantwell voted in favor of the measure to require equal dwell time.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

Maria Cantwell 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. Maria Cantwell voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

Maria Cantwell voted to support the amendment to create the special committee.

Authorization for the use of Force in Iraq

On October 11, 2002 the US Senate cast the first vote concerning the war in Iraq. This vote was to authorize the use of military force against Iraq (H J Res 114). Although the vote to authorize the use of force in Afghanistan was unanimous, the vote to authorize the use of force in Iraq passed 77-23. All but 2 of the 50 Republicans supported the legilslation while 29 of the 50 Democrats voted to authorize the use of force. Maria Cantwell voted to give the President the Authorization to use force against Iraq

Maria Cantwell voted to give the President the Authorization to use force against Iraq

 

Sponsored and Cosponsored Legislation

Session-110; Bill Number-S J Res 9; United States Policy in Iraq Resolution of 2007 - Cosponsor

Directs the President to begin the phased redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq within 120 days of enactment of this joint resolution with the goal of redeploying by March 31, 2008, all U.S. combat forces from Iraq, except for a limited number essential for protecting U.S. and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations. Requires the President to transition the U.S. forces' mission in Iraq promptly to such purposes. States that such redeployment shall be implemented as part of a diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community in order to bring stability to Iraq. Directs the President, not later than 60 days after enactment of this Act and every 90 days thereafter, to report to Congress on the progress made in such mission transition and force redeployment.

Session-110; Bill Number-S Con Res 2; A concurrent resolution expressing the bipartisan resolution on Iraq. - Cosponsor

Expresses the sense of Congress that: (1) it is not in the U.S. national interest to deepen its military involvement in Iraq, particularly by increasing the U.S. military presence in Iraq; (2) the primary objective of U.S. strategy in Iraq should be to have the Iraqi political leaders make the political compromises necessary to end the violence in Iraq; (3) greater regional and international support would assist the Iraqis in achieving a political solution and national reconciliation; (4) main elements of U.S. forces in Iraq should transition to helping ensure Iraq's territorial integrity, conduct counterterrorism activities, reduce regional interference in Iraq's internal affairs, and accelerate training of Iraqi troops; (5) the United States should transfer, under an appropriately expedited timeline, responsibility for internal security and halting sectarian violence in Iraq to the government of Iraq and Iraqi security forces; and (6) the United States should engage nations in the Middle East to develop a regional, internationally-sponsored peace and reconciliation process for Iraq.

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