"Tomorrow, I will introduce legislation that will prohibit the use of funds to continue the deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq six months after enactment. By prohibiting funds after a specific deadline, Congress can force the President to bring our forces out of Iraq and out of harm’s way.
This legislation will allow the President adequate time to redeploy our troops safely from Iraq, and it will make specific exceptions for a limited number of U.S. troops who must remain in Iraq to conduct targeted counter-terrorism and training missions and protect U.S. personnel. It will not hurt our troops in any way – they will continue receiving their equipment, training and salaries. It will simply prevent the President from continuing to deploy them to Iraq. By passing this bill, we can finally focus on repairing our military and countering the full range of threats that we face around the world."
Though the "power of the purse" has been a topic of much public discussion, Sen. Feingold is the first to harness that exclusive Congressional domain. Though not a political "heavyweight" like Biden, Hagel, or Levin, Feingold has developed a well-earned reputation on the Hill for working quietly to build consensus on issues he feels strongly about.
However, the current environment in Washington is such that even Feingold's particular talents don't make cutting the purse strings a likely end scenario for the Iraq war. Feingold most likely recognizes this and is proposing the measure as a means to expand the debate about options, and/or to negotiate himself into a position of greater political leverage.
Sen. Feingold's office has provided a fact sheet about the impending legislative proposal.