Congress should vote on Iraq agreement

Nov. 26, 2008 at 6:17 PM

BOSTON, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Iraqis delayed a vote on the U.S. security pact, yet lawmakers in Washington have no say in its passage, laments a House Foreign Affairs Committee member.

The Iraqi Parliament delayed to Thursday the long-awaited vote on a measure outlining the terms of a U.S. troop withdrawal. In an article in the Boston Globe Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, noted it was "sad" that lawmakers on Capitol Hill did not have a similar chance to weigh in on the agreement.

Delahunt notes U.S. President George W. Bush has shunned "any meaningful consultation" with U.S. lawmakers, saying the White House has gone "far beyond previous boundaries" by not including Congress on the provision set to replace the expiring U.N. mandate for Iraq.

"Ignoring traditional limits on the president's authority to make international commitments on his own creates a dangerous precedent," the representative said.

He called on congressional leaders in Washington to put the matter to an up-or-down majority vote, which he claims would assure Iraq and its people any contention with the language in the security agreement was with the Bush administration and not U.S. lawmakers.

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