With bipartisan support, the House Friday passed 246-182 a non-binding resolution expressing its disapproval of President Bush's plan to send more combat troops to Iraq.
Seventeen Republicans joined all but two Democrats in supporting the measure. Two Democrats and four Republicans did not vote.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the vote on the resolution, which supports the troops but rejects the surge of U.S. forces, would send a "strong message" to Bush. "The passage of this legislation will signal a change in direction in Iraq that will end the fighting and bring our troops home," she said.
But House Minority Leader John BoehnerJohn BoehnerPaul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender Matt Schlapp: 5 lessons Trump, Ryan must learn from healthcare debate Nunes rebuffs calls for recusal MORE (R-Ohio) said the vote is "the first step down a treacherous path." He accused Democrats of wanting to "micromanage the war" through the power of the purse. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) said the resolution transfers the House into 435 generals.
Republicans voting for the resolution were Reps. Mike Castle (Del.), Howard Coble (N.C.), Tom Davis (Va.), John Duncan Jr. (Tenn.), Phil English (Pa.), Wayne Gilchrest (Md.), Bob Inglis (S.C.), Tim JohnsonTim JohnsonCourt ruling could be game changer for Dems in Nevada Bank lobbyists counting down to Shelby’s exit Former GOP senator endorses Clinton after Orlando shooting MORE (Ill.), Walter Jones (N.C.), Ric Keller (Fla.), Mark KirkMark KirkObamaCare repeal bill would defund Planned Parenthood Leaked ObamaCare bill would defund Planned Parenthood GOP senator won't vote to defund Planned Parenthood MORE (Ill.), Steven LaTourette (Ohio), Ron Paul (Texas), Tom PetriTom PetriDozens of former GOP lawmakers announce opposition to Trump Dem bill would make student loan payments contingent on income Black box to combat medical malpractice MORE (Wis.), Jim Ramstad (Minn.), Fred Upton (Mich.) and James Walsh (N.Y.).
Democratic Reps. Gene Taylor (Miss.) and Jim Marshall (Ga.) voted with the Republicans.
Despite the loss, Republican leaders were pleased to limit the defections. At the beginning of the week, House Minority Whip Roy BluntRoy BluntMembers help package meals at Kraft Heinz charity event in DC White House signals it can live without border wall funds Interior secretary hints border wall could be on Mexican land MORE (R-Mo.) said estimates of as many as 60 Republicans crossing party lines were not "at all unreasonable." Blunt said the final vote count showed that the GOP "won the debate."
The White House responded to the vote by pointing out that the measure is non-binding.
"[The president's surge plan] enjoys the support of the Iraqi government and U.S. military leadership, including Gen. David Petraeus, Commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq, who recently was confirmed to his post by an 81-0 vote in the Senate," said White House spokesman Tony Snow.
"The president ordered a new way forward in Iraq because he, like most Americans, believed the existing situation in Iraq was unacceptable. The president concluded that this new strategy was necessary in order to help the Iraqi government gain control over Baghdad, assume more responsibility for security, and pursue reconciliation of all of Iraq's communities."
Snow added that Congress will soon "have the opportunity to show its support for the troops in Iraq by funding the supplemental appropriations request the president has submitted, and which our men and women in combat are counting on."
The White House spokesman also told reporters Friday that the resolution did not come up during a 45-minute conversation between the president and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
Pelosi said Congress owes the troops "a course of action in Iraq that is worthy of their sacrifice." The Speaker said placing the emphasis on training Iraqi forces would allow "the phased redeployment of our forces from Iraq to begin within the next four to six months."
Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidRepublican failure Senate about to enter 'nuclear option' death spiral Top GOP senator: 'Tragic mistake' if Democrats try to block Gorsuch MORE (D-Nev.) has said he favors the House resolution over a bipartisan Senate measure and will seek to bring it to a vote in the upper chamber. The Senate will meet Saturday and vote on cloture on the resolution.