Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement after voting against the Iraq supplemental conference report.
"Over 3400 of America's servicemen and women have now lost their lives in Iraq. American taxpayers have spent nearly half a trillion dollars there, often with no oversight from Congress.
"Unfortunately, this bill is nothing more than an endorsement of President Bush's failed Iraq policy that has left our troops stranded refereeing a religious civil war.
"It lacks the accountability measures contained in the first two supplementals and fails to set any date for troop redeployment. In other words, it does absolutely nothing to bring this war to an end.
"It also fails to include the important Murtha provisions requiring that any service member deployed is battle ready, properly equipped, and received the needed rest between tours of duty.
"Let me be clearour troops have performed brilliantlycapturing Saddam Hussein and helping the Iraqi people participate in their first democratic elections.
"Our troops won the war. But now it's time for Iraq's political leaders to win the peace.
"At a time when Americans are demanding that the Iraqi government take responsibility for its own future, this bill includes only optional benchmarks without the teeth necessary to hold the Iraqis accountable.
"Benchmarks without consequences are merely words on paper.
"My constituents elected me to change the direction of the war in Iraq. Sadly, this bill is simply a renewal of a failed strategy.
"I cannot in good conscience give this President a blank check to continue down the path of a war without end. Our troops and their families deserve better. The American people deserve better."