Update on Afghanistan Withdrawal Votes
Update: May 18, 2012: The House Rules Committee decided not to allow the McGovern-Jones amendment on Afghanistan to come up for a vote. This amendment had the support of many powerful members of Congress, including the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee. We are very disappointed that representatives won't have a chance to express their support for an end to the U.S. war in Afghanistan by voting for this amendment.
Your representative did get the chance to cast a vote on Afghanistan, however. Rep. Barbara Lee's amendment to fund a safe and orderly withdrawal of U.S. forces and contractors was defeated by a vote of 113 to 330. See how your representative voted.
Despite this loss, we see increasing evidence that members of Congress are growing tired of war and are ready for U.S. troops to come home from Afghanistan. Please contact your representative in response to his or her vote. Let your member of Congress see the support for ending the war.
See updates on the amendments that we followed on this bill.
May 15, 2012
This week, as world leaders gather in Chicago to make long-term plans for Afghanistan, your representative will cast a vote that could help end the destabilizing U.S. military presence in that country.
Please call your representative using our special toll-free number: 877-429-0678. Urge your representative to vote "yes" on the McGovern-Jones amendment, amendment number 101, to the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would
- accelerate U.S. troops withdrawal, requiring the U.S. to end combat operations in Afghanistan no later than December 2013;
- attempt to ensure at most a limited U.S. military presence after December 2014; and
- call for robust negotiations leading to a political settlement and reconciliation of the internal conflict in Afghanistan.
The vote could come as soon as Wednesday afternoon, so please call today. Read the full amendment text here.
Your calls could make a real difference. The military authorization bill as currently written contains language that would pressure the president to keep tens of thousands of troops in Afghanistan past the current scheduled withdrawal date of 2014. The McGovern-Jones amendment we are supporting would affirm Congress' commitment to bringing the U.S. war to a close. While we don't support authorizing more money for the military, this bill is likely to pass and presents an opportunity to make significant policy changes.
Please call your representative today: 877-429-0678. When you call, ask for your representative by name (look up your rep. here if you're unsure), then use these talking points to help you make your call.
- My name is ____ and I'm from _____(City, State)_____
- I'm asking Representative _____ to vote "yes" on the McGovern-Jones amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act. This amendment would bring U.S. troops home from Afghanistan sooner and bring the U.S. war to an end.
- Thank you.
More and more people are getting the message that bullets aren't the way to bring peace to Afghanistan. In a recent Fox News poll, 78% of respondents said they "approve of the U.S. withdrawing from Afghanistan." Opposition in Congress has also steadily been growing. Last year, 204 representatives voted for a similar amendment offered by Reps. McGovern and Jones, and a majority of senators supported a call for an accelerated withdrawal of U.S. military troops from Afghanistan. Yet none of these provisions have yet become law. Your voice could help convince your representative to vote for an accelerated end to the war. Please call today.
Thank you for all you do to work for peace.
Associate Executive Secretary for Campaigns
P.S. In addition to this amendment on Afghanistan, we are also paying close attention to amendments on the military authorization bill to remove restrictions on Pentagon spending, encourage diplomacy with Iran, guarantee the right to a civilian trial for anyone arrested in the United States and more. See updates on the amendments we are watching.