Larsen Statement on Iraq Supplemental Funding Bill</A

May 24, 2007


Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) released the following statement today on the Iraq supplemental funding bill:

“The American people have been pushed to the brink of exhaustion by the war in Iraq. I hear from constituents every day who are fed up with President Bush’s policies.  I share their frustration. More than four years after the President declared “mission accomplished”, our military men and women are still in the line of fire trying to keep a lid on the Iraqi civil war.

“I believe that the United States needs to end our military involvement in Iraq’s civil war and re-focus our efforts on fighting and killing terrorists around the world. The President must be held accountable for his own military and political benchmarks. If the President does not meet those benchmarks, we must begin the unconditional partial withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq.

“During the last election, Democrats told the American people that we would fight for a new direction in Iraq. That is exactly what we have done. 

“Earlier this month, House Democrats attempted to use the President’s funding request to change our direction, end our involvement in Iraq’s civil war and re-focus our efforts on fighting and killing terrorists. We passed the Iraq Accountability Act, which could just as easily been called the “President Bush Accountability Act”. The President vetoed that bill.  And because Democrats do not have a two-thirds majority in Congress, we failed to override the President’s veto.

“Next, House Democrats sent another proposal to the President to fully fund our troops for a limited amount of time, hold the President accountable for his policies and provide a new direction.  But this second Iraq Accountability Act failed to pass the Senate.

“The Democratic leadership in Congress has met with the Bush Administration repeatedly to try to find a compromise with accountability.  But the President has threatened to veto any bill that holds him accountable for his own benchmarks for progress.

“The Senate has approved a plan that includes weaker benchmarks for progress than the ones passed by the House. These benchmarks are not as strong as the ones I would have chosen.  But they are a step in the right direction.

“Today, I voted to pass an emergency supplemental bill that includes the benchmarks approved by the Senate. This bill is not perfect. But it does not give the President a blank check. It requires that the President report to Congress on his progress in Iraq so Congress can continue holding him accountable.

“Make no mistake: this is only the beginning of our work holding the President accountable.”