Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, voted Thursday in favor of a bipartisan amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (House Resolution 1540) that would require President Barack Obama to submit a plan and timetable for the withdrawal of American troops in Afghanistan.

The amendment offered by Democratic Rep. Jim McGovern of Massachusetts and Republican Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina failed by a vote of 204-215.

“I have supported the president’s plan to begin to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan this summer, and it is time the American people see a detailed plan to bring our men and women in uniform home as quickly as possible,” Capps said. “The proposal I support would preserve the president’s authority to go after al-Qaeda and those who would do us harm. But it is one that says we need to bring our troops home.

“Our military — those in uniform and their families — have done everything asked of them and more. They’ve done it for years and they’ve done it without complaint. Our military and diplomatic personnel have given the Afghan people an historic opportunity to build a future for a new Afghanistan and it is time that this effort be fully turned over to them. We cannot build that future for them.

“We must also be mindful not only of the considerable toll the last decade of war has taken on our troops, but also the tremendous cost to taxpayers and its effect on our deficit. At a time when some say we cannot afford to provide health care to the elderly, educate our kids or fix our roads, we cannot continue to pour billions of dollars into this war.”

The McGovern-Jones amendment requires a plan and time frame for withdrawal of troops in Afghanistan, a plan and time frame for negotiations to achieve a political settlement in Afghanistan, and a new National Intelligence Estimate on the capabilities and leadership of al-Qaeda. Language in the amendment also makes clear that the president’s existing authority to go after al-Qaeda will not change.

— Ashley Schapitl is press secretary for Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara.