It is being described as a symbolic rejection of the US president’s plan to send more troops to Iraq. A vote on a non-binding resolution in the House of Representatives was passed by 246 to 182. The text mentions disapproval of President Bush’s decision to increase troop numbers by 21,500, and vows to support and protect the troops.
The Democrat speaker in the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi: “It was a bipartisan, non-binding resolution that should send a very clear and firm message to the president of the US that the American people spoke in November, that they wanted a new direction in Iraq. This resolution, today, sets the stage for that new direction.”
A White House spokesman said the president was too busy to watch the proceedings on TV: “The president also is absolutely determined to keep this country safe and to do what is best for Americans. That is his job.” The Democrats say they are currently considering ways to restrict the president’s use of war funding, to try to stop him from using it for troop increases. Opinion polls say most Americans are opposed to sending more soldiers to Iraq.