U.S. Reps. Rush Holt (D-NJ-12), Frank Pallone (D-NJ-06), Donald Payne (D-NJ-10), Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-NJ-08), Steve Rothman (D-NJ-9), and Albio Sires (D-NJ-13) today issued the following statement in opposition to the Iraq funding bill which does not hold the Bush Administration accountable for the war in Iraq and fails to include a timeline for a withdrawal of American military forces.
"Since Democrats took over Congress, we have tried to establish a process to responsibly end our military involvement in Iraq. We, like all Americans, have watched in sadness as 3,422 of our brave soldiers have lost their lives, including 57 from the State of New Jersey. Already we have passed and sent to the President a plan that would include a timeline for troop withdrawal. Our best efforts, however, have been consistently met with a veto. Indeed, President Bush continues to stubbornly and recklessly insist that his failed Iraq policy continue without any reasonable compromise.
"We, along with the great majority of Americans, strongly disagree with the President. He has been wrong every step of the way and it is long past time to bring US combat operations in Iraq to a conclusion. The Democratic leadership has tried repeatedly to bring finality to the war, but because of a lack of a veto-proof majority, today they have relented on key requirements to help bring about its end. While we understand why the proposal before us was crafted in such a way, we believe that we must continue to forcefully stand up to the President. We voted against spending even more money in Iraq because there were no timelines or real accountability on an administration that has proven to be utterly incompetent on the most important issue of our time."