Democratic Leader Harry Reid, Assistant Democratic Leader Dick Durbin, Senator Ted Kennedy and Senator Joe Biden released the following statement:
Washington, DC - “In the 2005 Iraq Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, the House and Senate conferees agreed to an extensive set of Defense Department reporting and benchmarking requirements on Iraq that addressed the security, economic, reconstruction, and governance areas. This report was due on July 11th, and has yet to be provided to Congress.
We have cosponsored an amendment to the homeland security appropriations bill that expresses the Senate’s concern that this information is critical to formulating a strategy for success and that the report should be delivered to Congress as soon as possible.
Over the last few weeks, the American people have been assured by the Administration that they have a strategy for success in Iraq. Unfortunately, too often the rhetorical excesses of senior Administration officials have left an impression with the American people of a credibility gap. Overly optimistic statements such as that by the Vice President that the insurgency is in its “last throes” have not matched what real experts, including the Administration’s own experts and senior military officers, have said about the challenges ahead.
With all this obfuscation, the American people are right to be concerned and right to demand that the Administration report more cold, hard facts about Iraq on a regular basis. As the Administration asks Congress for billions more in funding for the Iraq war in coming months, on top of the more than $200 billion we have provided so far, the American people are entitled to information measuring whether those resources are having an impact and moving the ball forward in Iraq.
We won’t know whether our strategy in Iraq is making true progress until real report cards start coming in.”