Late last month, Congress defeated an amendment sponsored by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Walter Jones (R-NC) that would have mandated an accelerated U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The measure failed 204-215, but the result is significant because it garnered 26 Republican votes.
At an event today sponsored by the Center for American Progress, McGovern and Jones said President Obama’s Afghanistan withdrawal plan he announced last night does not go far enough. “We need to get all the troops out of Afghanistan sooner than 2014, because 2014 will become 2015 and so on, and it will be a neverending exit date,” Jones said.
In an interview with ThinkProgress after the event, both lawmakers stressed that they’re not giving up their efforts in Congress. “I think the anti-war movement in Congress is going to continue to grow and intensify,” McGovern said. Jones said he’s optimistic that he can peel away more Republicans to their side:
JONES: Republicans are beginning to understand that trying to police the world, you can’t pay for it. That’s what Republicans are beginning to understand. [...] What I’m trying to do on our side is to get more Republicans to join on the bill. Because that in itself sends a signal. But I believe, as Jim said, we’re not going away. [...]
TP: Are there a lot more Republicans talking to you privately?
JONES: Oh yeah.
Watch the interview clip: