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Public Statements

Afghanistan

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. JONES. First, I join the American people and the Members of Congress in extending my deepest sympathy to the families of the four Americans killed yesterday in Libya. It was such a tragedy.

Mr. Speaker, there's another tragedy. It's called Afghanistan. Like most of my colleagues, last month, I was home. I've been here in Washington 3 days. Back home, as well as the last 3 days here, more and more people are coming in concerned about budget cuts, worried about sequestration. We all are hearing it. Yet there's no debate about Afghanistan. It just keeps going on and on and on.

I'm pleased to say that next Thursday, a group of Democrats and Republicans have joined me for a press conference. The author of this book, called ``Funding the Enemy,'' subtitled, ``How U.S. Taxpayers Bankroll the Taliban,'' Douglas Wissing, is coming to Washington next Thursday, and we will hold a news conference at 10 o'clock. The reason for this is to continue to remind Congress the American people have been speaking out about pulling our troops out of Afghanistan sooner rather than later. I hope that this news conference with Mr. Wissing will continue to beat the drum of bringing our troops home in 2013, not 2014. That's the President's plan. That's the plan that most Republicans in leadership have agreed to. But that's the end of 2014. How many more young men and women have to give their life, their legs, their arms for a failed policy?

In this book, ``Funding the Enemy,'' and also at the news conference, we will have the former Inspector General of Afghanistan, who is a marine general. General Fields will join Douglas Wissing and a group of Republicans and Democrats to talk about the failed policy and how many times we send millions and millions and millions of dollars to Afghanistan and it never gets to the villages it's supposed to help; how many times we send millions and millions of dollars to Afghanistan and it's not accounted for. Somebody has taken the money. It's America's money. It's the money that we could be using here to save programs and to save jobs. But, again, Congress is not talking about Afghanistan.

I will continue to come to the floor, Mr. Speaker, and talk about the waste of life, the waste of money, and how it's unfair to the American taxpayer. And more importantly, it's unfair to the military families. Many of the marines in my district--and I'm sure in the United States Army--have been to Afghanistan three and four times. Truthfully, nothing has changed. If I could have been an adviser to the President, I would have said: Mr. Obama, you got bin Laden. You have dispersed al Qaeda. Let's bring our troops home. That has not happened--and it will not happen until 2014. I think 2014 will slip into 2015.

So it's my hope that after this election that those of us who I hope win come back here and let's take a new approach and look at Afghanistan. Whether it's Mr. Obama or Mr. Romney, let's try to prevail upon them as a Congress to start bringing the troops out in the spring of 2014. It's not fair to the families. It's not fair to broken bodies of those who return with lost legs.

Mr. Speaker, before I close, as I do many, many times, I ask God to please bless our men and women in uniform, to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform, to please hold in His arms the families who have given a child dying for freedom in Afghanistan and Iraq. I ask God to bless my colleagues in the House and the Senate. And I will ask God three times, Mr. Speaker, please God, please God, please God, continue to bless America.


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