Anti-war lawmakers got a rare chance to debate the Afghan war on the floor of the House of Representatives Wednesday before voting on a resolution to bring home the troops and end the 8-year war. The resolution failed, with a margin of 356 to 65, as expected, but nevertheless it was a chance for members of Congress opposed to the surge in Afghanistan to vent their frustrations. The debate came as Defense Secretary Robert Gates said it was possible American soldiers would leave before the July 2011 withdrawal date set by President Obama, but that decision would have to be “conditions-based.” The resolution, which would pull out troops within 30 days of passage, was brought to the House floor by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH). Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) called the war an unconstitutional “foreign occupation.” Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA) urged caution, warning that "accelerating the Obama administration's carefully calibrated timetable could take grievous risks with our national security.” Five Republicans voted with the 60 Democrats in favor of withdrawal.
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