PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 1591, U.S. TROOP READINESS, VETERANS' HEALTH, AND IRAQ ACCOUNTABILITY ACT, 2007 -- (House of Representatives - March 22, 2007)
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Mr. DeFAZIO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the Chair and my good friend for yielding.
This bill will end the war in Iraq. This is the first enforceable challenge to the President's plan to escalate and continue a stay-the-course, open-ended commitment to a war, a war that was launched with massive deception, and an unnecessary war.
One gentleman questioned Congress' power. Congress' power under Article I, section 8 is very broad. We have the ability to modify the original authorization for war, and that is essentially what we are doing here by saying there will be an end to this war.
A year ago, just 1 year ago this March, the President said it will be up to ``future Presidents,'' plural, not just the next one, plural, ``and future governments of Iraq'' to determine when our troops might come home. That is not acceptable.
Our troops are mired in the midst of a civil war. Oh, they have dragged out the old, If we don't fight them there, we'll fight them here. Well, unfortunately, the Republicans are contradicted by the Bush-appointed National Intelligence Director who says al Qaeda is not looking to have a base in Iraq and al Qaeda would be extraordinarily unlikely to attempt, and has no capability to attack the United States from Iraq; but they are looking to move back into Afghanistan, Afghanistan where we should have stayed focused, a legitimate war against the Taliban, al Qaeda, and Osama bin Laden. Remember him? Dead or alive; dead or alive. He is still planning attacks against the United States of American, and Bush wants to mire us down day after day in a civil war.
The Iraqis have to want to end this war. This bill will give them a motivation to begin to lay aside their ages' old grudges and begin to meaningfully cooperate and coordinate and share their oil wealth. That is the only way this is going to end. It is a civil war. They have been fighting it for 1,400 years. We need this bill. We need to motivate the Iraqis to bring an end to this war, and we need to refocus on the real threats to America.
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