Thursday, March 15, 2007

the Iraq debate...

The war in Iraq is being debated in both the House and Senate this week.

Earlier today, the House Appropriations Committee approved a supplemental appropriations bill that includes a provision calling for the withdrawal of American Forces by August 2008.

Here's what U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, D-2nd District, had to say:

"The Iraq supplemental funding bill is a balanced compromise that I will support. Connecticut's courageous military families may now have hope that the end to the Iraq war is finally in sight. They have sacrificed the most for our country, and we owe them leadership in Washington, DC that is worthy of their service. As our servicemen and women return home, it is the Congress, not the Bush Administration that is working to get veterans the health care and benefits owed to them. When I was elected to Congress, I promised that I would reasonably and safely begin a drawdown of this conflict and this is an important step in that direction."

Meanwhile in the Senate, the debate continues and here's where Sens. Christopher J. Dodd, D-Conn., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., stand:

Dodd (who supports a hard date for withdrawal)
“While this resolution before us does not represent as forceful an approach to accomplishing that goal as I would propose, it does take the United States one stop closer to ending U.S. combat involvement in Iraq. And for that reason I am going to support it as the first step in the right direction. But based on past experience, I have no confidence that this President will pay any attention to this resolution or this congressional debate. So I would say to our colleagues, if you are truly sincere in your support for the policies expressed in this legislation, then you must be prepared to do more in the coming days to bring an end to this destructive and futile policy, including the exercise of the Congressional power of the purse.”

“We need to stop financing the Administration's reckless strategy and put critical resources into rebuilding our military. Our troops deserve no less from this Congress.”

“How many debates, how many reports, how many killed and wounded, until the President and his advisers will acknowledge the President's Iraq policy has been a failure from almost the outset?”

Lieberman (who opposes setting a date)
"The question we now confront is simple: will Congress give General Petraeus and his troops a fighting chance to succeed?

"The joint resolution before us would deny them that chance, forcing our troops to break off the battle of Baghdad before it has barely begun. Instead of providing General Petraeus with the necessary reinforcements he has requested—the reinforcements he is counting on—it would begin to strip troops away from him.

"We need to be clear with ourselves, and with the nation, on this point: the joint resolution we are debating would impose a fixed date for the beginning of a withdrawal. One hundred twenty days after this legislation is passed, American forces would be required by law to begin redeploying out of Iraq. This would happen regardless of conditions on the ground, regardless of the recommendations of General Petraeus, regardless of the wishes of our allies, regardless of whether security is improving or deteriorating.

"It would bind the hands of General Petraeus, substituting the judgment of Congress for the judgment of our military commanders, our diplomats, and of our friends in the region.

"Congress has many responsibilities, but the micromanagement of war is not one of them. "



Blogger Weicker Liker said...

How can you let Joe Coutney get away with making this statement, without outlining the obscene amount of pork thats in the Iraq Supplemental Funding Proposal?

There are billions of our taxpayer dollars that are contained in this bill that have nothing to do with supporting our troops!!

Below is a list of spending and policy provisions in the supplemental that Congressman Courtney did not list in his press release and are unrelated to military operations.

*$500 million for emergency wildfires suppression; the Forest Service currently has $831 million for this purpose;

*$400 million for rural schools;

*$283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract program;

*$120 million to compensate for the effects of Hurricane Katrina on the shrimp and menhaden fishing industries;

*$100 million for citrus assistance (2005 Homeland Livestock Indemnity Program) ;

*$74 million for peanut storage costs;

*$60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath River region in California and Oregon;

*$50 million for asbestos mitigation at the U.S. Capitol Plant;

*$48 million in salaries and expenses for the Farm Service Agency;

*$35 million for NASA risk mitigation projects in Gulf Coast;

*$25 million for Calfornia spinach growers;

*$25 million for livestock (2005 Hurricane Livestock Indemnity Program);

*$20 million for Emergency Conservation Program for farmland damaged by freezing temperatures;

*$16 million for security upgrades to House of Representatives office buildings;

*$10 million for the International Boundary and Water Commission for the Rio Grande Flood Control System Rehabilitation project;

*$6.4 million for House of Representative’s Salaries and Expenses Account for business continuity and disaster recovery expenses;

*$5 million for losses suffered by aquaculture businesses including breeding, rearing, or transporting live fish as a result of viral hemorrhagic septicemia;

*$4 million for the Office of Women’s Health at the Food and Drug Administration; and

*A minimum wage increase, which is the subject of separate legislation.

4:47 PM  

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