Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pelosi: "The American people see the reality of the war; the president does not."

Yesterday the House passed the U.S. Troops Readiness, Veterans’ Health and Iraq Accountability Act.

The bill stipulates, among other things, that the Bush Administration must meet current Department of Defense standards for troop readiness, the Iraqi government must meet key security, political and economic benchmarks, and provides funding for the Veterans Administration to reverse some of the cuts made by the executive branch in the past few years.

This bill also signifies the first piece of successful legislation to stand defiant against the president's war policy since the begining of the conflict. The vote was close, only 218 to 212, not enough to block a promised veto if the bill does ever get through the senate and reaches the president's desk.

Despite Bush's promise to veto the House Iraq bill, this is still a major victory. Don't listen to the naysayers that complain that this bill is not enough. This is Pelosi's second attempt to push through anti-Iraq war legislation, and you can bet it won't be her last.

Chris Matthews and Joe Scarborough are saying things like, "Pelosi has been in power for eight weeks, and still she has not ended the Iraq war." This is true. And she hasn't found a cure for cancer or the common cold, either. On the other hand, she has done more in eight weeks than the Republicans have done in 5 years.

The Justice League has spoken. The Iraq Accountability Act Passes: 218-212

Speaker Nancy Pelosi: "Rather than sending more troops into the chaos that is the Iraqi civil war, we must be focused on bringing the war to an end. We can do that by passing this bill that transforms the performance benchmarks that have already been endorsed by President Bush and the Iraqi government, into requirements...Benchmarks without deadlines are just words. Four years of this war, words are not enough." Speaker Pelosi: Closing Speech on Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. Murtha (PA-12): "My grandmother lived to be 96. I was 6 years old when she died. She said you’re on this earth to make a difference. We’re gonna make a difference with this bill, we’re gonna bring those troops home, and we’re gonna start changing the direction of this great country." Rep. Murtha: Iraq Accountability Act Closing Speech

Rep. Murphy (PA-08): "To those on the other side of the aisle who are opposed, I want to ask you the same questions that my gunner asked me when I was leading a convoy up and down Ambush Alley one day. He said, ‘Sir, what are we doing over here? What’s our mission? When are these Iraqis going to come off the sidelines and fight for their own country?’ So to my colleagues across the aisle - - - your taunts about supporting our troops ring hollow if you are still unable to answer those questions now four years later." Rep. Murphy: Closing Speech on Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. George Miller (CA-07): "Hundreds of billions of taxpayers’ dollars have been squandered in this war that’s left our military readiness in jeopardy. The all-volunteer army is at a breaking point. And the world’s faith in the American people is shaken. Rep. George Miller: Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. Nita Lowey (NY-18): "Just yesterday the Iraq IG reported yet again how unprepared the Administration was for the task of reconstruction. The Defense Department had no strategy for restoring government institutions, establishing security, or rebuilding infrastructure, and the State Department was cut completely out of the loop. Rep. Lowey: Iraq Accountability Act

Majority Leader Hoyer: "Others assert that inclusion of a timeline for responsible deployment is tantamount to capitulation. Mr. Hobson spoke on this floor just a few minutes ago. He voted to set a timeline in Bosnia. Mr. Lewis sits as the ranking member of this committee, he voted on June 24, 1997, to set a timeline. Mr. Hastert, Speaker of the House, set a timeline. Mr. Delay voted for a timeline. Mr. Blunt, voted for a timeline. Mr. Boehner, voted for a timeline. Every one of them voted for a timeline. What were the circumstances? We hadn’t lost a single troop. Not one. Rep. Hoyer: Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. Van Hollen (MD-08): "The American people know well that when you ignore failure and bad decisions you simply get more of them. Today we are demanding accountability for a change - accountability for a change, accountability to be sure that our troops get the equipment and training they need. Accountability to be sure that the wounded soldiers returning home are treated with the dignity they deserve." Rep. Hoyer: Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. Rahm Emanuel (IL-05): "Let us review the cost America has beared in four years. Beared in four years. 3,000 lives have been lost. 25,000 of our citizens have been injured, and nearly half a trillion dollars have been spent, and America’s reputation around the world has been sullied. And under the President’s leadership, his Iraqi policy comes down to something very simple. More troops, more money, more time, more the same." Rep. Emanuel: Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. Chet Edwards (TX-17): "By voting for this bill we can honor and respect our troops, our veterans, and their families. Not just with our words, but with our deeds." Rep. Chet Edwards: Iraq Accountability Act

Chairman Obey on Checks & Balances: "For the last four years, we have had a Congress that did whatever George Bush wanted it to do, rubber stamp, lock-step all the way — today is different. Today, we have a congress that is responding to what the public asked for in the last election. What you’re seeing today is the new world of checks and balances. Get used to it, it’s what the public asked for and it’s what they’re going to get out of this Congress." Rep. Obey: Iraq Accountability Act, Checks and Balances

Rep. Murtha: "Let me say to the Members what hurts our troops. I found our troops, 44,000, without body armor. I found our troops with a shortage of jammers. I found our troops with a shortage of up-armored humvees. I find our troops now, because of the policy, having to go back to Iraq before they have a year at home. I find our troops now because of the policy of this White House having to extend troops that have been there 13 months. And I find our troops having to go into combat untrained or not as trained as well as they should, not going to the desert, where we have this tremendous training area, going right into Iraq. That’s what hurts our troops." Rep. Murtha: Iraq Accountability Act, Equipment

Rep. John Larson (CT-01): "With all sincerity, no one questions your patriotism or love of country, and yet we hear you come down here and belittle the proposal that we have before us and call Democrats defeatists. When it is you who have surrendered your judgment… because of your blind, myopic allegiance to a failed policy, you have surrendered your judgment to what is the right thing." Rep. Larson: Iraq Accountability Act

Rep. Meek (FL-13): "I would hate for my Members on either side of the aisle to be on the other side of this bill because you have a lot of explaining to do when you get back home and the reason why you voted against this bill. You can call Members of Congress, General X and General Y, but the bottom line is: accountability is in this bill." Rep. Meek: Iraq Accountability Act



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