Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives are closing ranks behind legislation that would require troops to come home from Iraq within six months if that country's leaders fail to meet promises to reduce violence there.
Party officials said Thursday the plan would retain a Democratic proposal to prohibit deployment to Iraq of troops with insufficient rest or training or who already have served there for more than a year. Under the plan, such troops could be sent to Iraq only if President George W. Bush should waive the standards and report his action to Congress each time.
The proposal is the latest attempt by Democrats to resolve deep divisions within the party on how far to go to scale back US involvement in Iraq. Democratic Rep. James Moran said the latest version has the support of party leaders and said he believes it is final and has the best chance at attracting broad support.
"We're going to report out" a war-spending bill "that's responsive to the will of the voters last November and brings our troops home as soon and safely as possible," Moran said in an interview Thursday.