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Leahy adds name to troop redeployment bill

WASHINGTON — U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, D-VT, will join Sen. Russ Feingold, D-WI, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-NV, in introducing legislation aimed at ending the current military mission in Iraq and begin the redeployment of U.S. forces.

The bill, which will be introduced when the Senate reconvenes next week, would require the president to begin “safely” redeploying U.S. troops from Iraq 120 days from enactment, as required by the emergency supplemental spending bill the Senate passed last week. The bill would end funding for the war, with three narrow exceptions, effective March 31, 2008.

Pres. George W. Bush on Tuesday and Vice Pres. Dick Cheney Monday assailed congressional efforts to force the beginning of troop withdrawals from Iraq, including the new bill by Feingold, Reid and Leahy, and the President again pledged to veto the bills.

“The new Congress has charted a way to end our involvement in a civil war. The American people want a way out of this foreign policy disaster, and I hope the President will reconsider his veto threat,” said Leahy.

The language of the Feingold-Reid-Leahy bill reads:

(a) Transition of Mission —The President shall promptly transition the mission of United States forces in Iraq to the limited purposes set forth in subsection (d)

(b) Commencement of Safe, Phased Redeployment from Iraq — The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of United States forces from Iraq that are not essential to the purposes set forth in subsection (d). Such redeployment shall begin not later than 120 days after the date of the enactment of the act.

(c) Prohibition on Use of Funds -- No funds appropriated or otherwise made available under any provision of law may be obligated or expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the United States Armed Forces after March 31, 2008.

(d) Exception for Limited Purposes -- The prohibition under subsection (c) shall not apply to the obligation or expenditure of funds for the limited purposes as follows:

(1) To conduct targeted operations, limited in duration and scope, against members of al Qaeda and other international terrorist organizations.

(2) To provide security for United States infrastructure and personnel.

(3) To train and equip Iraqi security services.

Is your nonprofit a century old? The Secretary of State is looking for you

MONTPELIER —Secretary of State Deb Markowitz is seeking applications for the Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Awards program, which honors nonprofits that have operated in Vermont for at least 100 years.

“The Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Award acknowledges Vermont's oldest nonprofits for enriching our heritage. This program deepens our understanding of how Vermont's nonprofits have enhanced our community life during the last hundred years,” said Markowitz.

“It is important to recognize Vermont's nonprofits for their longevity," she said. “It takes a tremendous amount of dedication to keep a nonprofit active for 100 years.”

Award recipients will be honored at a reception to be held in June at the State House.

Any nonprofit that has been in operation in Vermont for 100 years or more can participate in this awards program by filling out an application form

For more information about the awards program and to print an application form, visit the Vermont Centennial Nonprofit Awards page on the Secretary of State's website, or call Ginny Colbert at 828-2148.

Applications are due on April 30.

Posted April 6, 2007

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