Lexington, Missouri – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement on reports that U.S. and Iraqi negotiators have reached agreement on a timeline for the redeployment of U.S. combat forces from Iraq by the end of 2011:

 “After years of resisting calls from Congress, the Bush Administration has finally agreed to a timeline for the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq.  This is a very significant development and I am pleased that the Iraqi Government was able to convince the Bush Administration that this is a positive approach.  My House colleagues and I have consistently supported this position and over one year ago passed my bill, H.R. 2956, the Responsible Redeployment from Iraq Act.   

 “The timelines proposed in this agreement are longer than those I have advocated and I want to know more details to determine whether the deadlines set by this agreement are sound, but I am encouraged by what seems to be real progress in making plans to responsibly redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq.  It is also critical that the final agreement provide immunity for our troops, an issue which I raised with the President in June.  I will carefully review the agreement when it becomes final to make sure it fully reflects those concerns.”