Congressman Phil Hare (D-IL) today released the following statement regarding the Iraq/Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was divided into 3 separate votes.
"Today, I voted against funding a war without end in Iraq. While President Bush spends American taxpayer dollars at a rate of $4,000 per second there, the Iraqi government has continually failed to meet its responsibility to achieve political reconciliation and provide security for its own people. With our own economy in recession, we can no longer afford to put the President's failed Iraq policy on the nation's credit card.
"I voted for an amendment requiring that U.S. troops begin redeployment from Iraq within 30 days of enactment. I have long said that we need a responsible redeployment of our troops in order to fight terrorism, rebuild our military, and begin investing in the priorities of the American people again. The amendment also bans torture, prohibits a permanent U.S. presence in Iraq, ensures the readiness and rest of our deployed troops, and requires the Iraqis to start paying their fair share of reconstruction.
"Finally, I voted for a domestic priorities amendment which includes several critical measures that I have long supported. It extends unemployment insurance for Americans that have lost their jobsincluding 260,000 this year. It creates a GI Bill for the 21st Century to give the brave men and women who have served honorably since September 11 the same educational benefits we provided to World War II veterans. And it blocks the Bush Administration's harmful cuts to Medicaid.
"The American people are rightly demanding that we end the war in Iraq in order to address our own pressing challenges. Today's supplemental doesn't get us all the way there, but I believe it is a step in the right direction."