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Area legislators tout anti-war resolutions.

Byline: David Steves The Register-Guard

SALEM - State legislatures don't have authority over the way wars are conducted. But that didn't stop several of them from announcing Wednesday a resolution urging Congress to oppose President Bush's troop surge and to draw up a strategy for withdrawing military forces from Iraq.

Eugene Rep. Paul Holvey, whose son, Justin, served in Iraq, said he was "really scared about this war. I have long anguished about the safety of my son, his comrades and all our troops."

Holvey said it was time to send a message to the Bush administration to bring home U.S. troops from Iraq, rather than add to their numbers there.

"This administration has betrayed the loyalty and patriotism of our troops by putting them in a war on false pretenses, with no clear, achievable mission," the Democratic lawmaker said.

Sen. Vicki Walker, D-Eugene, said is was having similar legislation drafted in the Senate.

She said such nonbinding resolutions urging congressional action are often believed to "just go into the trash can."

But this effort - in Oregon's and other states' legislatures - is different, Walker said.

"I think Congress is looking for support from their states that, yes, it is OK to oppose the escalation, and here's what my constituents at home are saying. Here's what my elected leaders are saying," she said.

The Oregon resolution effort's leader, Rep. Chip Shields, D-Portland, said it remained to be seen whether Republicans would support the resolutions heading for the House and Senate floors.

House Republican spokesman Nick Smith said his caucus questioned the nature of the proposal, because it struck the GOP as a divisive matter of the sort that Democrats had vowed not to pursue.

"There aren't many issues as divisive as Iraq, yet here we are," he said. "Rather than engaging in political grandstanding we need to get to work on things we can actually get work done on."
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Title Annotation:Government
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 1, 2007
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