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Public Statements

Water Resources Development Act of 2007

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

WATER RESOURCES DEVELOPMENT ACT OF 2007 -- (Senate - May 16, 2007)

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. BIDEN. Mr. President, we are about to vote on a bunch of amendments. The two amendments on the Democratic side, one having been withdrawn, are designed to do one thing that is straight forward: Instead of focusing our military on the much more--on being engaged in this civil war, they are intended to focus on a limited mission, a much more limited mission that is in our national interest that we can achieve with far fewer troops: Combatting al-Qaida and like-minded terrorist groups and continuing to train Iraqi troops.

I am not crazy about the language in the Feingold amendment. But I am crazy about the fact that we have got to keep the pressure on. The fact is, with every passing day, the situation in Iraq gets worse, and the President refuses to change course, continuing to dig us deeper and deeper and deeper in a hole.

The most important thing we can do, and I compliment the Democratic leaders for this, is keep pressure, keep pressure on the President. Now, why pressure on the President? Quite frankly, he is not going to change. The only way, with all due respect to my Republican friends, is to put pressure on them so they start voting for the troops and not for the President.

The fact is, as a number of my colleagues have mentioned in the news on the Republican side--I will not name any of them--they basically told the President: Mr. President, you have got until September. Well, between now and September, a lot more people are going to die in the midst of a civil war that don't have to die in the midst of a civil war if we change the mission.

So this is all about keeping pressure. So every single day the public picks up the paper and sees that we are trying to change the President's course of action in Iraq. In turn, hopefully, they will speak to their Democratic and Republican Senators and Representatives and say: Make him change.

Because until we get 67 votes, we are not going to be able to change his God-awful war. This war is a disaster. So what my friend, Senator Feingold, is doing is making a very valuable contribution. I am going to vote for cloture so we can continue to debate this issue and continue to put pressure on. Starting to get our troops out of Iraq and getting most of them out by early next year is what we have in the original legislation the President vetoed, which is the preferable way to go, in my view.

But obviously we do not have the votes to overcome that veto, so we are trying to put something else on the table. But as important as beginning to bring our troops home, with a reasonable prospect of ending their presence in Iraq, it is equally important to have a plan for what we are going to leave behind, so we do not trade a dictator for chaos in a region that will undermine our interests for decades.

So we have to have a plan to bring stability to Iraq when we leave, and that requires a political solution. In the interests of time, I will not attempt to discuss that, I will do it at a later date. But I compliment my friend from Wisconsin for continuing to keep the pressure on. This is all about, in my view, getting the 67 votes to be able to override the President's veto and ending this God-awful mess that he has us in and continues to dig us deeper and deeper and deeper and deeper into.

I yield the floor.


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