Interesting.Â I wonder if this will nudge the Republican Administration at all, and I wonder if it will give any lift to Biden's presidential campaign.
Biden's amendment, a sense of Congress resolution, passed on a roll call vote.Â Here's the text:
SEC. 1535. SENSE OF CONGRESS ON FEDERALISM IN IRAQ.
Â Â Â (a) Findings.--Congress makes the following findings:
Â Â Â (1) Iraq continues to experience a self-sustaining cycle of sectarian violence.
Â Â Â (2) The ongoing sectarian violence presents a threat to regional and world peace, and the long-term security interests of the United States are best served by an Iraq that is stable, not a haven for terrorists, and not a threat to its neighbors.
Â Â Â (3) Iraqis must reach a comprehensive and sustainable political settlement in order to achieve stability, and the failure of the Iraqis to reach such a settlement is a primary cause of increasing violence in Iraq.
Â Â Â (4) The Key Judgments of the January 2007 National Intelligence Estimate entitled ``Prospects for Iraq's Stability: A Challenging Road Ahead'' state, ``A number of identifiable developments could help to reverse the negative trends driving Iraq's current trajectory. They include: Broader Sunni acceptance of the current political structure and federalism to begin to reduce one of the major sources of Iraq's instability . . . Significant concessions by Shia and Kurds to create space for Sunni acceptance of federalism''.
Â Â Â (5) Article One of the Constitution of Iraq declares Iraq to be a ``single, independent federal state''.
Â Â Â (6) Section Five of the Constitution of Iraq declares that the ``federal system in the Republic of Iraq is made up of a decentralized capital, regions, and governorates, and local administrations'' and enumerates the expansive powers of regions and the limited powers of the central government and establishes the mechanisms for the creation of new federal regions.
Â Â Â (7) The federal system created by the Constitution of Iraq would give Iraqis local control over their police and certain laws, including those related to employment, education, religion, and marriage.
Â Â Â (8) The Constitution of Iraq recognizes the administrative role of the Kurdistan Regional Government in 3 northern Iraqi provinces, known also as the Kurdistan Region.
Â Â Â (9) The Kurdistan region, recognized by the Constitution of Iraq, is largely stable and peaceful.
Â Â Â (10) The Iraqi Parliament approved a federalism law on October 11th, 2006, which establishes procedures for the creation of new federal regions and will go into effect 18 months after approval.
Â Â Â (11) Iraqis recognize Baghdad as the capital of Iraq, and the Constitution of Iraq stipulates that Baghdad may not merge with any federal region.
Â Â Â (12) Despite their differences, Iraq's sectarian and ethnic groups support the unity and territorial integrity of Iraq.
Â Â Â (13) Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki stated on November 27, 2006, ``The crisis is political, and the ones who can stop the cycle of aggravation and bloodletting of innocents are the politicians''.
Â Â Â (b) Sense of Congress.--It is the sense of Congress that--
Â Â Â (1) the United States should actively support a political settlement among Iraq's major factions based upon the provisions of the Constitution of Iraq that create a federal system of government and allow for the creation of federal regions;
Â Â Â (2) the active support referred to in paragraph (1) should include--
Â Â Â (A) calling on the international community, including countries with troops in Iraq, the permanent 5 members of the United Nations Security Council, members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, and Iraq's neighbors--
Â Â Â (i) to support an Iraqi political settlement based on federalism;
Â Â Â (ii) to acknowledge the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Iraq; and
Â Â Â (iii) to fulfill commitments for the urgent delivery of significant assistance and debt relief to Iraq, especially those made by the member states of the Gulf Cooperation Council;
Â Â Â (B) further calling on Iraq's neighbors to pledge not to intervene in or destabilize Iraq and to agree to related verification mechanisms; and
Â Â Â (C) convening a conference for Iraqis to reach an agreement on a comprehensive political settlement based on the creation of federal regions within a united Iraq;
Â Â Â (3) the United States should urge the Government of Iraq to quickly agree upon and implement a law providing for the equitable distribution of oil revenues, which is a critical component of a comprehensive political settlement based upon federalism; and
Â Â Â (4) the steps described in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) could lead to an Iraq that is stable, not a haven for terrorists, and not a threat to its neighbors.
Here's the roll call.Â Feingold was the only Democrat to vote Nay, and presidential candidates McCain and Obama did not vote (don't know if they're absent).Â http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=110&session=1&vote=00348