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House Approves Tanner-Abercrombie Bill

A largely unified House approved legislation Tuesday requiring the secretary of defense, in coordination with the president, to deliver regular updates to Congress on the status of contigency planning for U.S. troops deployed to Iraq.

One hundred eight-one Republicans joined 196 Democrats to approve the modest measure that was once viewed as a potentially bipartisan breakthrough in the war debate but has since come to represent the struggle a divided Congress faces in substantially changing military policy in Iraq.

As evidence of that impasse, three prominent Democrats unveiled a proposal Tuesday morning to raise a surtax on delinquent taxpayers to raise revenue to fund the war only to watch Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) oppose the plan hours later in a statement on her website.

The contigency bill, introduced by Reps. John Tanner (D-Tenn.), Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii) and Phil English (R-Pa.), does represent a bipartisan accord but fails to place a major mandate on the administration to shift its war strategy.