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U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Care, Katrina Recovery, And Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC


U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' CARE, KATRINA RECOVERY, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007

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Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to this bill. We cannot provide a blank check to this President regarding our involvement in Iraq.

I've heard a lot of talk about September--that it will be clear by September whether or not the ``surge'' is working. I've heard these comments even as this week the press has reported that another, little publicized ``surge'' is already underway--one that when completed will result in some 200,000 American troops being on the ground in Iraq before the year is out. We know now the ``surge'' is not working.

I cannot vote to provide this President with more money to send more troops to try to quell Iraq's civil war. I remind my colleagues that in less than a month's time, Iraq's parliament is going to adjourn for most of the summer, taking a two month vacation while American kids are left to dodge sniper fire and IEDs. Where are the Iraqi security forces? What happened to ``As they stand up, we'll stand down?''

This month, the Defense Department reported a total of 337,000 Iraqi police and soldiers had been trained and equipped. They now outnumber our troops by two to one. Yet the administration has repeatedly refused to give the House Armed Services Committee information on the training program for Iraqi security forces and how their unit readiness is assessed. I suspect Secretary Gates is holding back those answers because he knows we're going to ask what we have bought with the money we have spent on Iraq's security forces--more than $15 billion. But I think most of us know what that $15 billion has bought us: an Iraqi security force that is corrupt, sectarian, infiltrated by insurgents, and hopelessly ineffective.

We can't keep ratifying a failed policy; that's not what the American people expect or need from us. I urge my colleagues to oppose the resolution.

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