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Kentucky House Members Split Along Party Lines In Iraq War Vote

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky's US House members split along party lines on legislation calling for a troop withdrawal from Iraq. The four Republican congressmen stuck with President Bush in opposing a pullout, while the two Democrats supported the bill.

The measure passed the Democratic-controlled chamber on a 223-to-201 vote today.

Republican Congressman Geoff Davis of northern Kentucky's Fourth District accuses Democrats of giving up on Bush's troop surge in Iraq without giving it a chance. Davis says the full force of extra troops has been in place for less than a month.

Central Kentucky Congressman Ben Chandler says a majority of Americans want the troops to be hunting down terrorists, not (quote) "refereeing" a civil war in Iraq.

Chandler and fellow Democratic Representative John Yarmuth of Louisville both voted for the bill, which would require the withdrawal of U-S combat troops to begin within 120 days and to be completed by April first. Yarmuth says a White House report today shows that the Iraqi government failed to satisfactorily meet ten of the 18 benchmarks endorsed by Bush early this year.

Joining Davis in opposing the bill were fellow Kentucky Republican Congressmen Ed Whitfield, Ron Lewis and Harold "Hal" Rogers.

Whitfield, whose western Kentucky district includes part of the Fort Campbell Army post, says lawmakers should wait for military commander General David Petraeus (peh-TRAY'-us) to submit his progress report to Congress in a couple of months.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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