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U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act, 2007

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' HEALTH, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2007 -- (House of Representatives - April 25, 2007)

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Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, Winston Churchill said, ``The United States of America always does the right thing after it has exhausted all the other alternatives.''

And what we are doing here tonight, through the Democrat Party, is exhausting all the other alternatives.

This bill is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, the Democrat leadership promised to cut out the pork and nondefense spending and give us a clean bill. But this bill contains minimum wage legislation, children's health care appropriations, $31 million for milk subsidies, $460 million for food aid, much of that not even going to the Middle East, $40 million for grain storage, $37 million for new computers for the FSA in Kansas City, $4 million for the Office of Women's Health, and $15 million for livestock subsidies.

What does this have to do with Iraq? Not a thing.

And yet some of this stuff may have a lot of merit and get bipartisan support. But why not bring it up on the proper pieces of legislation, not on a military aid bill?

It's interesting, one of the Democrat Senators actually justified the nonmilitary spending saying, ``But the Republicans did it.'' And I agree with her. She's right. We did it. And that's why we are in the minority. The American people are tired of these kind of shenanigans.

Let's pull these items out and have a debate on their own merits, not on the backs of soldiers in Iraq.

Let's talk about Iraq. The Constitution, article I, section 2, says, and I quote, ``The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and of the militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States.''

In other words, the President, as Commander in Chief, runs wars, not 535 arm chair generals on Capitol Hill.

But this legislation, or surrender document, usurps the President's constitutional prerogative. For this reason alone we should reject it.

And finally, let's talk about the gist of this surrender. Putting a timeline on a war is great if the enemy agrees with it. But for some reason, they never do. Never in the history of war has a country won by announcing their surrender date to the world. It's odd, it's reckless, and it won't work.

We should not micromanage this war. We should do as Winston Churchill said and do the right thing.

And I urge a ``no'' vote.

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