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Following Bush Veto, Patrick Murphy Calls for Change in Iraq

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Following Bush Veto, Patrick Murphy Calls for Change in Iraq

Today, Pennsylvania Congressman Patrick Murphy (D-8th District), former U.S. Army Captain and Iraq war veteran, issued the following statement in response to President Bush's veto of the accountability in Iraq. The bill, which was passed by both houses of Congress with bipartisan support, aimed to set a new course in Iraq. It includes setting a timeline to redeploy American troops, while fully funding our troops and providing health care for veterans.

"With a pen stroke and a stamp, President Bush vetoed the advice the military experts offered and the accountability voters demanded," said Congressman Patrick Murphy. "I am disappointed by President Bush's decision but I will keep fighting for the new direction we need in Iraq."

"The president continues to hurl dangerous rhetoric instead of acknowledging that neither the military experts nor the American people support his leadership on Iraq. American troops have done their jobs, now its time to start bringing them home," Murphy added.

The "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health and Iraq Accountability Act" calls for specific benchmarks for success that must be met by the Iraqis and sets a timeline to redeploy American combat forces from Iraq. This legislation also calls for a strategic strikeforce to remain in the region to continue training Iraqis and fighting al Qaeda in Iraq. The other thing this plan does is fully equip American troops with the supplies they need to go to war and the care they need when they return home. This bill ends the practice of rubberstamping President Bush and Vice President Cheney's open-ended commitment to refereeing a religious civil war in Iraq.

The Democrats' Plan for Iraq:

* Fully funds the troops and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
* Implements accountability by calling on the Iraqi government to finally come off the sidelines through benchmarks.
* Creates a timeline to redeploy American troops from Iraq.
* Keeps a "strategic strikeforce" in Iraq and surrounding region to fight terror and train Iraqis.
* Fully supports our veterans by giving the VA added funding so that they are able to take care of a new generation of veterans and care for those of older generations.
* Refocuses on the war on terror and hunting down and killing Osama bin Laden by supporting American forces fighting the resurgent Taliban in Afghanistan.

Prior to being elected to Congress, Patrick Murphy served as a Captain in the U.S. Army. He was deployed to Bosnia and to Iraq. In Iraq he served with the 82nd Airborne where he was awarded the Bronze Star for service. He is the first and only Iraq war veteran to serve in Congress.

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