PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H. RES. 557, RELATING TO THE LIBERATION OF THE IRAQI PEOPLE AND THE VALIANT SERVICE OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES AND COALITION FORCES -- (House of Representatives - March 17, 2004)
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Mr. DREIER. Reclaiming my time, Mr. Speaker, let me just say that I completely understand that he would like to have had input; and that is one of the reasons we, in fact, did provide an opportunity, which is unusual, in consideration of this rule, for a motion to recommit for Members of the minority, if in fact that was the case.
Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Atlanta, Georgia (Mr. Linder), my very good friend and the chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology and the House of the Committee on Rules.
Mr. LINDER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the chairman of the Committee on Rules for yielding me this time, and I rise in support of this rule and urge my colleagues to join me in approving this resolution.
H. Res. 561 will allow the House to work its will on the underlying resolution. It is an appropriate procedure, given the nature of H. Res. 557, which is a simple resolution. H. Res. 557 was introduced to recognize the Iraqi people's suffering under Saddam Hussein, the significant advancements being made in Iraq since last March, and the courage of U.S. and Coalition Forces as they strive to bring order and stability to the country.
The media is accurate in its reports of the difficulties that still face U.S. and Coalition Forces in Iraq. But there are also positive events taking place every day that deserve recognition and are largely ignored by the media. Probably the greatest accomplishment is that the Iraqis are returning to their lives and are enjoying freedoms that never could have existed under Saddam Hussein. Under his regime, the Iraqi lived in terror on a daily basis. Now, the people of Iraq have an opportunity to shape their history as they choose. The Iraqi people recently took their first step in shaping their future with the recent signing of the Iraqi interim constitution into law.
Other notable advancements in Iraq over the last year include the rise in oil production to roughly pre-March 2003 levels, the circulation of the new Iraqi currency, and the repair of critical infrastructure and roads. Additionally, the electricity supply has become more stable, and many Iraqi hospitals are up and running.
The number of Iraqis that have joined the Iraqi police force, border patrols, and army has also increased, allowing Iraqi citizens to participate in protection of their very own infrastructure.
Iraq is still a dangerous place, not only for Iraqi citizens but also for U.S. and Coalition Forces. I commend the U.S. and Coalition Forces for their dedication, sacrifice, and service in Iraq; and I salute them for helping to make our world a safer place.
The task of rebuilding Iraq will be no easy feat, and it will certainly take time. However, I am encouraged by the positive events of the last year, and I believe it is in the U.S.'s interest and the world's to persevere and create a stable and democratic Iraq.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support the rule so that we may proceed to debate the underlying legislation.