Press Release

December 19, 2007

“We have got to change our mission in Iraq.   The cost of further delay in lives, materiel, treasure, and our standing in the world is too great.  The United States cannot impose the political reconciliation necessary to bring long-lasting security to that nation.  It is time to direct our resources toward the rest of the region and to needs here at home.” 

“A new policy begins by removing our troops from the middle of a civil war and giving them a more realistic mission, one that is in the best interests of Iraq and the United States.  Given the facts and the realities independent reports provide us, I continue to support an amendment, this time sponsored by Senators Feingold and Reid, to change our mission in Iraq from providing security and services to a focus on training, counter-terrorism and force protection.” 

“I voted against an amendment to add $40 billion to the Omnibus spending package without any limits on the President’s use of that money.  The military has no immediate need for additional funds for Iraq.  Congress just passed a $456 billion Defense Appropriations bill.  The Omnibus provides the Army and Marine Corps an additional $20 billion.  Given the Department of Defense’s ability to shift funds, this money should pay for the war through March.  We’ll have a chance to vote on additional funding next year when we will have more information about trends on the ground in Iraq.”

“Further, while negotiating this year’s spending levels this President has vetoed additional health and education funding and refused to negotiate over a modest increase in overall appropriations to fund critical needs here at home, he continues to insist Congress fund a failed strategy in Iraq.  The President’s intransigence undermines our position in the world and has left this Congress fewer resources to direct toward priorities here at home.  Those are the wrong priorities for our nation.” 

“The world has an interest in a safe and secure Iraq.  It is time to take steps to protect our troops and our all volunteer force, change the mission, step up our diplomatic efforts, and internationalize the effort to bring stability to that country and to the Middle East.” 

“Mr. President, we don’t need additional funds for the same policy in Iraq, we need a new direction.”