Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Joe Biden, D-Del., and four co-sponsors introduced legislation late Friday saying President George Bush cannot commit the United States to a long-term guarantee for Iraq's security without the approval of U.S. lawmakers.
"With less than six months left in his term, the president is on a course to commit the United States to guarantee Iraq's security far into the future," Biden said. "This legislation makes clear that the president cannot do that without congressional approval."
The Delaware senator said the Bush administration should seek to replace the expiring U.N. mandate for Iraq with a short-term agreement through the United Nations or the Iraqi government.
Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., one of the co-sponsors, said moves by the administration to secure long-term agreements with Iraq void of congressional approval were characteristic of the broader strategic missteps in the war effort.
"Now we have no choice but to require Congress to approve any U.S.-Iraq strategic agreement that includes provisions committing the United States to the defense of Iraq against aggression," Casey said.