Arkansas Senator Pushing for Iraq Withdrawal

BLYTHEVILLE, AR -- The debate over the war in Iraq continues as Democrats propose a timeline for bringing our troops home.

K8 News met up with U.S. Senator Blanche Lincoln who was in Blytheville Monday to get her thoughts on the bill that could soon be on the desk of the President. Senate Democratic leaders in Washington say they're not giving up on their efforts to get a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. Forces in Iraq.

"If they think there is an open-ended committment, my fear is that we'll be there way too long and we'll still not achieve what it is that we've set out to achieve," says Senator Lincoln, a Democrat Senator from Arkansas.

The senate has passed a bill that includes a timeline and date for the withdrawal of U.S. Troops in Iraq, but also in that bill is funding for soldiers that President Bush has asked for.

"My hope is the President will see our troops need this support and more importantly that the American people are ready to say to the Iraqis, we're going to be there to help you, we're going to be there to reinforce you, but we cannot give you an open-ended commitment," says Senator Lincoln.

The troop funding is to ensure that education and healthcare benefits for our returning veterans are intact. The bill still has to go to the House before it's sent over to President Bush, but he plans to send it right back.

"The President said he feels like he'll veto it, but again everything he asked for is in that bill in terms of funding for our troops and more," says Senator Lincoln.

And for those troops who haven't made it over to Iraq just yet, Senator Lincoln says it's important that they have what they need here as well as abroad.

"We've already called up the Ready Reserve of the Army and we've called up the Ready Reserve of the Marines, so the idea of making sure our Armed Forces are staying strong so that not only that they can do a good job in Iraq and do what we need and get out of there, but also that we're going to have the resources and the military to deal with other hot spots across the globe if they should come up," adds Senator Lincoln.

Something Senator Lincoln and other Democrats in Congress see as a diminishing resource the longer we stay in Iraq.