Senate Sends Message To President: Bring U.S. Forces In Afghanistan Home Faster

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Senate passed an amendment introduced by Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley requiring President Obama to develop a plan to expedite the reduction in U.S. forces in Afghanistan and to make periodic reports to Congress on the progress of that plan.

“Our American forces have successfully pursued the two main goals set when we went to Afghanistan: stamping out the al Qaeda training camps and hunting down and bringing to justice those responsible for 9/11,” said Senator Merkley. “It is time to bring our men and women home. The U.S. Senate sent that message to the President today in unequivocal terms.”

The amendment urges the President to accelerate the timetable for the handover of power and requires the President to deliver to Congress a plan to expedite the transition of all military and security operations in Afghanistan to the Government of Afghanistan within 90 days of the law’s enactment. The amendment passed by voice vote and was co-sponsored by the following senators:

Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR)

Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT)

Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM)

Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH)

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT)

Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK)

Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM)

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD)

Sen. Kent Conrad (D-ND)

Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA)

Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT)

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV)

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) 

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT)

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY)

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)