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DeMint Opposes Surrender Date and Wasteful Spending

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

DeMint Opposes Surrender Date and Wasteful Spending

Today, U.S. Senator Jim DeMint (R-South Carolina) voted against the conference report of H.R. 1591, the supplemental appropriations bill, which requires American troops to withdraw from Iraq beginning October 1st of this year, and contains more than $20 billion in unrelated spending. The measure passed the Senate 51-46 and President Bush has promised to veto it.

"Americans don't want to lose this war, they want to win and we can't do that by announcing a surrender date to Al Qaeda," said Senator DeMint. "Our brave troops are risking their lives because they know victory in Iraq is critical to the future safety of Americans. It is insulting to the sacrifices our troops have made for Democrats to declare the war is lost and vote to surrender to terrorists.

"If Harry Reid believes the war is lost, then he should stop the war funding now and bring our troops home. Instead, he is playing a risky political game in an attempt to embarrass our Commander in Chief."

"President Bush should and will veto this defeatist legislation that contains billions in unrelated spending. Since Democrats insisted on this pointless exercise, our troops will have to wait even longer to get the funding and equipment they need to defend themselves. I hope Congress can now work quickly to get a real war supplemental to the President that is free of politics and pork."

The conference report contained billions of dollars in spending unrelated to the war. Examples include:

• $60.4 million for salmon fisheries in the Klamath Basin region
• $20 million for Dairy Production Losses
• $1.85 billion for crop production losses
• $1.4 billion for livestock production losses
• $33 million for Livestock Indemnity Program
• $21 million for emergency grants to low-income migrant and seasonal farm workers (Small Business Economic Loss Grant program)
• $20 million for emergency conservation program
• $115 million for the conservation security program
• $18 million for drought assistance in upper Great Plains/South West
• $31 million for one month extension of Milk Income Loss Contract program (MILC) - increasing farm spending by $2.4 billion over the next ten years
• $12 million for forest service money
• $67.5 million for Salaries and Expenses for Farm Service Agency
• $425 million for education grants for rural areas - (Secure Rural Schools program)
• $400 million for LIHEAP
• $50 million for asbestos abatement at the Capitol Power Plant
• $682.9 million for funding for backlog of old Department of Transportation projects
• $500 million for wildland fire management
• $13 million for mine safety technology research
• $10 million for historic preservation fund
• $35 million for NASA risk mitigation projects

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