HALL SUPPORTS FUNDING FOR TROOPS,OPPOSES MANDATES FROM CONGRESS
Rep. Ralph Hall (R-TX/4) voted today in the House of Representatives in opposition to the Democrats' proposal that would tie funding of the war in Iraq to mandatory withdrawal of troops - a tactic Hall said would undermine military commanders' ability to succeed in the war on terror and undermine troop morale. The measure passed the House by a narrow margin, 218-212.
"I am disappointed that the House passed this measure that has strings attached to funding," Hall said. "This vote sends a troubling message to our troops and will embolden terrorists who can carry out their plans with the knowledge of the U.S. timeline for troop withdrawal. The President has pledged to veto this bill should it pass the Senate - and I trust that he will."
"We must send a clear message to our troops that they have our unconditional support for their efforts to win the war on terror, bring stability to Iraq and Afghanistan, and train Iraqi forces to take over the defense of their homeland," Hall said. "All of us want this war to end - and we must do all within our power to bring our brave men and women home in victory."
"General Petraeus has begun implementing the new thrust in Iraq, and we must give him the resources he needs to succeed. Congress has no business attempting to manage our war efforts," Hall added. "We have had difficult conflicts before - World War I and II, Korea, Vietnam - and now the war on terror. We must give our military the best tools to succeed as possible, and dictating the terms by which they must fight and withdraw is not the way to do so."
Hall signed a discharge petition this week filed by Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) to force House consideration of his bill to bind the Congress to a funding commitment for troops in harm's way. "Congressman Johnson is a Vietnam war hero who understands the importance of sending a clear signal of support to our troops."
"Along Farm-to-Market Road 1570 in my district, folks will gather to pay tribute to a fallen soldier - U.S. Army soldier Emerson Noah Brand - as he is returned to his final resting place in Caddo Mills," Hall said. Brand and three other soldiers died last week when an improvised explosive device detonated near their vehicle in Baghdad. He was serving his second tour of duty in Iraq.
"We owe a debt of gratitude to this young man and to his family, to his comrades who died along with him, and to all those who sacrifice and serve in the cause of freedom," Hall said. "We owe them our unconditional support."