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WASHINGTON - July 12: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman John B. Larson, D-Conn., House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., applaud House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., as he comes to the podium during a news conference after the House voted Thursday to set an April 1, 2008, deadline for a withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq, even as President Bush insisted that more time is needed to stabilize the "young democracy" there. After a day-long debate, the House by 223-201 passed a bill (HR 2956) that would force a change of course in Iraq. The measure would require a troop redeployment to begin within 120 days of enactment and be completed by April 1, 2008. The vote marked the second time this year that the Democratic-controlled House has voted to set a firm deadline for a troop withdrawal. In March, the House by 218-212 passed a fiscal 2007 Iraq war supplemental funding bill (HR 1591) that set an August 2008 target. Bush vetoed a modified version of that legislation, and he has vowed to veto any bill that similarly attempts to force his hand on Iraq. House Democrats argued that an interim progress report on this year's U.S. troop surge issued Thursday morning simply confirmed that it was time to start withdrawing most U.S. troops and redefining the mission of those who remained. Republicans countered that a U.S. withdrawal would ensure the collapse of the Iraqi government and potentially destabilize the entire region. They said it was important to give the troop surge more time. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly).

WASHINGTON - July 12: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman John B. Larson, D-Conn., House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rahm Emanuel, D-Ill., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn, D-S.C., applaud House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., as he comes to the podium during a news conference after the House voted Thursday to set an April 1, 2008, deadline for a withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq, even...
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