Washington, D.C. – Freshmen Democratic Senators, elected to send the country in a new direction, today discussed the U.S. Senate's accomplishments in the first 100 days of the 110th Congress, including the continuing efforts to transition the mission in Iraq and hold the Bush Administration accountable.
Senators have answered the American people's call to put partisanship aside, bring accountability back to government and change course in Iraq. In its first 100 days at work, the Senate has passed legislation that cleans up Washington, gives working Americans a raise, cuts taxes for working families and restores fiscal responsibility. Democrats have also made the homeland more secure and continue to hold this Administration responsible for its failed policies in Iraq.
Senator Ben Cardin: "Last fall, the American people voted for change in Iraq. Unfortunately, President Bush still hasn't received that message. Instead of working with Congress to develop a strategy for success in Iraq, the President expects us to send him a blank check to continue with the same failed policies. It is in America's best interest for President Bush to set real benchmarks for the Iraqi government and start reducing our troop levels. As freshmen Democrats, we're united in our fight to bring about the change in Iraq that the American people want and deserve."
"In November, the American people sent a clear message that they wanted change in Washington," said Senator Bob Casey. "I have been a United States Senator for 100 days now and in that time Pennsylvania has lost 14 troops. Under Democratic leadership, Congress has finally begun to hold the Administration accountable and push for a new direction in Iraq. We need to transition the mission in Iraq and listen to the people who elected us."
"Since President Bush has refused to recognize the reality of the situation in Iraq, it is up to Congress to put an end to the war and bring our troops home," Senator Bernie Sanders said. "Setting a timeline to stop the war sends a strong message to the president that he cannot simply continue to follow the same failed policies."
Said Senator Sherrod Brown: "Tunnel vision led us into this war and tunnel vision is keeping us there. It is time for the President to broaden his circle and embrace a strategy that will keep this situation from spiraling further out of control."
"I recently traveled to Iraq to meet with troops from Minnesota. They didn't ask about repeated tour extensions or shortages in equipment and body armor. Instead they asked me to call their families to tell them their sons and daughters were okay and that we take care of them when they return home," said Senator Amy Klobuchar. "Our soldiers and National Guard and Reserve members and their families have made tremendous sacrifices in Iraq. We owe it to them to get this policy right."