Appropriations Chairmen on Iraq
House Appropriations Chairman Dave Obey and Senate Appropriations Chairman Robert Byrd
Christian Science Monitor - April 17, 2007
Last week, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates announced that our troops in Iraq and those troops set to deploy will have their tours extended to 15 months. This comes on top of the White House's announcement that they were rushing thousands of troops back to Iraq for extended tours of duty, without providing sufficient time for rest, recovery, and retraining.
Such plans, political posturing, and veto threats have placed the safety of our troops in unnecessary jeopardy. It is simply unconscionable that the White House is now attempting to blame Congress for the failure to successfully prosecute the war.
The president has said on many occasions that the US commitment to Iraq is not open-ended. Now is the time for him to show the nation that those were not hollow words.
The president has also declared his commitment to improve the lives of our veterans. If the president chooses to work with Congress -- the people's representatives -- we can reach a bipartisan solution that unites the country rather than divides it, while meeting the expectations and needs of the American people.