U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' CARE, KATRINA RECOVERY, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007--VETO MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES (H. DOC. NO. 110-31) -- (House of Representatives - May 02, 2007)
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Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, the President was right to veto the bill that we have before us. And I believe that the House today will sustain the President's veto because the bill that we have before us that is purportedly there to pay for our efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq and other issues, in my opinion, ties the hands of our generals and our troops on the ground and almost mandates failure in Iraq.
I think it is time for us to work across the aisle to produce a clean bill that the President can sign into law to sustain our efforts in Afghanistan and in Iraq, and to make sure that at the end of the day we have victory.
The fundamental question that we are all dealing with in this Chamber and elsewhere is, why is Iraq important? Why is winning in Iraq so important?
In my view, and in others, al Qaeda has made Iraq the central front in their war with us. Those aren't my words, those are their words. They started this war when they attacked us all through the 1990s and when they attacked us in New York City on 9/11.
And while we went to Iraq to take out Saddam Hussein and to help build a more stable, democratically-elected nation in that part of the world and bring more stability there, it has turned into much more than that.
According to the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism, a nonprofit organization funded by a grant from the Homeland Security Department, Iraq today is home to 77 different terrorist organizations. They have made this, they have made Iraq the central front in their war with us.
We all know that there is a growing movement around the world of radical Islamic terrorists that want to kill Americans and want to kill our allies. They are operating all over the world and they are attacking people all over the world. Just think about where they have been over the last several weeks, whether it was Bangladesh last night or elsewhere. They are continuing their efforts to try to gain control of the world, and part of that effort is aimed directly at us. Americans, freedom loving people, up against people who don't want freedom for people, that want to impose radical Islamic law on all of us. And so they have made Iraq the central front in their war with us.
And if we walk out of Iraq, if we don't give this plan a chance to succeed, we encourage the terrorists. We will encourage them. They will be able to recruit new people all over the world. They will have a safe haven in Iraq itself. We will destabilize the entire Middle East, including the very existence of Israel. And who doesn't believe that if we don't deal with the terrorists in Iraq, that we won't be dealing with them on the streets of America? That is why Iraq is important. And if we are not willing to stand up to the terrorists and defeat them in Iraq, when and where will we draw the line to protect the American people, our ultimate responsibility?
We have a serious responsibility, and there is no greater responsibility for those of us who serve in this Chamber, than to provide for the safety and security of our constituents and our people in our country.
So tell me, if we are not going to stand up to them in Iraq, if we are not going to take them on in Iraq and defeat them there, when and where will we do it?
And the fact is, is that our troops are doing a great job in Iraq under very difficult circumstances. They deserve the support of all the Members of this House.
And so I say to my colleagues, it is time for the games to stop, it is time
for the political points to be taken off the board, and it is time for us to sit down as Members on both sides of the aisle and give the President a clean bill that funds our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, that furthers our effort to take on the terrorists and defeats them, and doesn't do it with some $20 billion worth of excess spending that has nothing to do with this bill.
I urge my colleagues to sustain the President's veto.