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Congressman Jackson Votes to Meet Ongoing Security Threats, Challenges and Obligations

Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Jackson Votes to Meet Ongoing Security Threats, Challenges and Obligations

Funding Bill Supports the Refocused Fight Against Terrorism, the Troops and the Response to the H1N1 Virus

Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. voted today in support of the $93 billion supplemental spending bill for military and other operations primarily in Iraq and Afghanistan. The 2009 Supplemental Appropriations Bill provides funding for "a new and better direction for our nation's critical fight against terrorism," Jackson said.

"This legislation breaks with the tragic missteps, miscalculations and misadventures of the past. It begins a new chapter of security and stability, supporting President Obama's plan to end combat operations in Iraq and refocusing the fight against terrorism in Afghanistan."

The funding measure includes provisions to help advance and achieve President Obama's goal to withdraw all U.S. military forces from Iraq by December 31, 2011. Specifically, the bill directs the Secretary of Defense to submit regular reports to Congress about the Iraqi Government's reconciliation initiatives; the drawdown of military forces; and the roles of contractors in the U.S. mission in Iraq.

In addition, the language prohibits the construction of any base for the permanent stationing of U.S. forces in Iraq or Afghanistan. It also bars U.S. control over any oil resources of Iraq.

Jackson added, "As the situations in Afghanistan and Pakistan continue to deteriorate, this bill bolsters our vital missions in those two countries. It keeps our eyes on the ball and on the enemy, concentrating our nation's military and diplomatic resources on defeating the Taliban and al-Qaeda where they are finding sanctuary and resurging."

The measure recognizes that success in the region depends on the capacity, conduct and commitment of the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Therefore, it requires a full assessment of the Afghan and Pakistani governments' performance to (1) develop political consensus and unity of purpose; (2) eliminate government corruption; (3) establish security forces to protect the population and conduct counterinsurgency operations; (4) cooperate and support U.S. troops in counterinsurgency and counterterrorism objectives; and (5) control the territory within their borders.

"Clearly, arms alone will not win the war in Afghanistan. It also will require more handshakes and shovels. President Obama knows that the United States -- in cooperation with our allies -- must use all of the political, economic, and diplomatic tools at our disposal to help build a foundation for peace and stability in the region. This supplemental funding bill helps to do just that," Jackson said.

Congressman Jackson also said that the bill "honors the commitment and sacrifice of our men and women in uniform." It provides the 170,000 service members who have had their enlistments involuntarily extended since September 11, 2001 with $500 for every month they were held under stop-loss orders.

In addition, the bill includes $2 billion to expand the federal stockpiles of anti-viral drugs, develop and purchase vaccines, assist state and local responses and support global efforts to track and contain the spread of a pandemic. In doing so, the bill "invests in the protection against the current H1N1 outbreak and the emergency preparedness of our country," Jackson concluded.

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