Larsen Votes to Hold the President Accountable for a New Direction in Iraq</A

May 10, 2007


Washington, D.C. - U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) voted today in favor of the Iraq Accountability Act (H.R. 2206).  Larsen also voted in favor of H.R. 2237, which calls for the redeployment of U.S. Armed Forces while keeping some troops in Iraq to protect U.S. diplomatic missions, protect American citizens, fight terrorists and train Iraqi security forces. Larsen released the following statement:

“The President must be held accountable for his own military and political benchmarks in Iraq. If the President does not meet those benchmarks, we must begin the unconditional partial withdrawal of U.S. military forces from Iraq.

“The United States must re-focus our efforts on fighting terrorists around the world.  This Congress demands accountability, and we are committed to strengthening our military readiness to confront 21st century threats.

 “Today, I voted for the Iraq Accountability Act (H.R. 2206). This bill holds the President accountable for his policies and fully and immediately funds our troops. This bill holds the Iraqi government accountable for the benchmarks the President himself has set and re-focuses our efforts on fighting terrorists around the world.

“Ten days ago, the President vetoed the first Iraq Accountability Act.  In spite of our sincere efforts to find a compromise with accountability, he has threatened to veto this bill as well.

“The burden for funding our troops falls on the President once again.  If he vetoes this bill, it will not only show a lack of accountability, but a lack of responsibility.

“The President should know that Congress will keep working to fund the troops in spite of his veto threats. But that does not mean that we will take strategic redeployment off the table. 

“That is why I voted for H.R. 2237.  I wanted to send a strong message to the President that in spite of his continued veto threats, this Congress will continue holding him accountable.  We will keep working for a new direction in Iraq. We will support our troops.  And we will re-focus our efforts on pursuing and killing terrorists.”