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Johnson votes in favor of Iraq withdrawal deadline

Political Notebook by Camie Young

Last week, one of Gwinnett's congressmen voted in support of setting a deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

"I oppose the war in Iraq and always have," said U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson, a Democrat who represents the Lilburn and Norcross areas. "By setting deadlines for troop withdrawal as this bill does and requiring accountability from the Iraqi government, we move a step closer to ending this war."

Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, favors immediate troop withdrawal from combat on Iraqi streets and a phasing out of the war altogether, according to a press release.

"This is not the best bill, but we do, finally, have an opportunity to hold the president accountable and stop the blank checks for a war that was ill-conceived, mismanaged and unnecessary."

The House measure narrowly passed last week. Senators are expected to vote on imposing a deadline later this week, but President Bush has pledged to veto the measure.

The House bill also includes funding for state children's health insurance programs.

"This bill ensures that needy children in my state and others will continue to receive the health insurance we promised them," Johnson said. "This is an imperfect bill, but it enables an important first step. I do not consider this bill to be a final solution for the war in Iraq or the PeachCare program. But it is a good start and I will support it today."

Beaudreau meetings update

Further information has been given about town hall meetings hosted by Commissioner Mike Beaudreau.

For the past two years, Beaudreau has hosted Saturday sessions, but Monday he began a weekday tour of his District 3, which is most of southern and eastern Gwinnett, with a meeting at the Grayson library.

Tonight at 7, he'll be at the Five Forks library branch.

Meetings will be held April 12 at the Mountain Park Activity Building, April 19 at Snellville City Hall, April 23 at the Dacula Park Activity Building and April 30 at the Centerville Community Center.

All of the meetings will be held at 7 p.m. and are open to the public.

Political Notebook appears in the Thursday and Sunday editions of the Gwinnett Daily Post.

Camie Young can be reached via e-mail at camie.young@gwinnettdailypost.com.