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Obama Statement on Today's Iraq Vote

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Obama Statement on Today's Iraq Vote

"Today, 1519 days after it began, the war in Iraq rages on, with no sign of a resolution."

"The Iraqi people appear no closer to settling their differences. The Iraqi government is more divided and dysfunctional than ever. The Iraqi parliament speaks of adjourning for the summer, without addressing the major issues standing in the way of a ceasefire. And our brave young servicemen and women are still fighting and dying to police someone else's civil war."

"I opposed this war from the start for all the reasons that are now clear."

"In January, I introduced a plan that if it had been passed would have already begun redeploying our troops out of Iraq. The reason I believe that this plan is the best plan is that it would also offer enough flexibility to delay our exit in the event that the Iraqis responded with meaningful steps toward peace."

"My plan makes it clear if the Iraqi government does not meet specific benchmarks, all U.S. combat troops will be out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. It has been nearly five months since I introduced my plan, and by every objective measure, the Iraqis are nowhere close to meeting the benchmarks I laid out in January."

"I still believe in that approach, using our military presence in Iraq as leverage to press the Iraqis towards a political settlement. Ultimately, I think it will become the framework for a bipartisan coalition the President can't resist."

"Unfortunately, the President vetoed that plan. In response, I have reintroduced that plan and will continue to work to get the votes that are needed to override this veto."

"Today I supported the Reid-Feingold plan, which would begin a withdrawal of troops in 120 days and end all combat operations on April 1, 2008. I supported this proposal not because I believe it is the best answer, but because I want to send a strong statement to the Iraqi government, the President and my Republican colleagues that it's long past time to change course in Iraq."

"This is our best hope to keep the pressure on so that we can bring this war to a responsible end and bring our troops home."

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