On Tuesday, a top administration official told Congress that the administration was pushing ahead with an agreement similar to one that raised the hackles of Congress in November, because it obligated the United States to defend Iraq from internal and external threats, which many in the legislative body argue is a treat.
"This strategic framework will broadly address the topics outlined in the Declaration of Principles signed by President Bush and Prime Minister Maliki on November 26, 2007," the State Department's coordinator for Iraq, David Satterfield, told a joint hearing of two House Foreign Affairs subcommittees.
Rep. Bill Delahant (D-Mass.), who organized the hearing, is sponsoring legislation with Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), that would briefly extend the United Nations mandate that allows the United States to occupy Iraq, a Delahunt aide said. An extension would give Congress and the White House time to negotiate the terms of the agreement.
The Lee Resolution, on the other hand, would put the House on record as saying that “any agreement, other than a treaty, between the Republic of Iraq and the United States that imposes upon the United States burdens in excess of those customarily included in a status of forces agreement should … have no legal effect if such agreement has not been approved by an Act of Congress.”