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Lampson, Al Green, Jackson-Lee And Others Comment on Bringing The Troops Home

The Houston Chronicle got the reaction of local lawmakers to the Petraeus and Crocker testimony on Capitol Hill this week – and how they view bringing the troops home:

Congressman Nick Lampson is up first (he’s going to hear from me early and often on this):

In an arena where the legislative battle lines have been drawn mostly along partisan boundaries — Democrats pressing for troop withdrawal deadlines and benchmarks, Republicans against them — only one of the Texans appeared to fit in neither camp.

Rep. Nick Lampson, a Stafford Democrat, is working with both parties to find common ground.

“There are those who advocate an immediate withdrawal from Iraq. And there are those who want to send in more troops and continue with an open-ended commitment,” Lampson said in a prepared statement. “Somewhere in the middle exists a practical and realistic solution that honors the commitment and sacrifice of our troops. That is type of solution I will support and work towards.”

Lampson, one of the GOP’s top targets for defeat in 2008, declined to discuss his efforts further. Thus far, he has not broken from the Democratic leadership on Iraq votes.

Next up is Congressman Kevin Brady:

With congressional Democratic leaders deeming inadequate Petraeus’ plan to withdraw 30,000 troops by next summer, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-The Woodlands, predicted Democrats would force another funding battle to reduce U.S. involvement in Iraq.

Congressman Al Green:

But Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, credited Democratic resolve for the Bush administration’s move to begin bringing troops home. “I am absolutely convinced that we are doing the right thing. We must not relent. We must be more resolved to continue to press for bringing our troops home — not in an irresponsible way but as soon as is practicable and is safe for them to return home,” Green said.

And, here’s Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee:

Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, dismissed Petraeus’ proposed drawdown as well short of the exit strategy she and others seek.

“The administration is trying to follow the wishes of the American people and the U.S. Congress, but in a nickel-and-dime manner,” said Jackson Lee, the only Houston-area member in the House Out of Iraq Caucus that has lobbied for troop withdrawal. “As I stand here today, I want a defined time for our troops to return. I want a planned exit strategy.”

Jackson Lee dismissed the idea that the departure of 30,000 troops could take some of the wind out of congressional Democrats’ efforts to force a final withdrawal deadline.

Congressman Mike McCaul:

But Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican who represents western Harris County, said the drawdown — and the success of the surge — could buy the administration more time for its strategy in Iraq. “I think the results coming in have given the American people a sense of optimism that we can achieve our goals over there,” McCaul said.

Congressman Gene Green:

Rep. Gene Green, D-Houston, disagreed. Though he praised Petraeus, the military and Crocker for their efforts, Green said: “The overall picture in Iraq remains one of instability and of a government not willing to make the necessary political to move its country forward.

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson:

“We cannot walk away from our goal of a stable Iraq because of political expediency,” Hutchison said Monday.

Who couldn’t be reached for comment?

The offices of Rep. Ted Poe, R-Humble, and Rep. Ron Paul, Lake Jackson, the only GOP presidential candidate who opposes U.S. involvement in Iraq, did not return calls. Rep. John Culberson, R-Houston, was unavailable for comment.

For my take on Texas’ junior Senator John Cornyn’s performance at the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, you can read my post on musings. I think it’s pretty clear where he stands.

For me, I like what Sheila Jackson Lee and Gene Green are saying.

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  1. kevin whited says:

    Congressman Nick Lampson is up first (he’s going to hear from me early and often on this)

    What are you planning on telling him?

  2. Martha Griffin says:

    That I want a clear exit plan to bring the troops home.