Washington, DC —Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid joined Senate Armed Services Committee member Jack Reed and Jon Soltz of VoteVets.Org for a press conference earlier today to urge passage of critical funding for our troops in Afghanistan.
This week, as U.S. troops begin major operations in Kandahar, the heart of Afghanistan’s Taliban country, Senate Democrats are working to pass emergency legislation that would fund the 30,000 additional troops in Afghanistan, a policy that was announced last December. The President’s plan to increase troops in Afghanistan has received bipartisan support. Now that our fighting men and women have been deployed, Democrats are urging Republicans to join them in providing our troops with the resources they need.
The Department of Defense has requested Congress swiftly pass this funding in order to avoid costly and counterproductive disruptions to military operations.
“We have over 600 National Guardsmen from Nevada alone deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and it is our job to make sure that they can do their job,” said Senate Majority Leader Reid. “That’s why Democrats are leading the effort to make sure our troops have the equipment and resources they need to succeed. Unfortunately, some Republicans are now threatening to block this critical funding. I hope Republicans will join Democrats to make sure our troops have the tools they need to keep America safe and complete their mission.”
“President Obama has drastically scaled down the size of the supplemental and encouraged the defense budgeting process to better incorporate wartime spending, but there is still a dire need for this supplemental,” said Senator Reed. “Members who voted to send our troops into harm’s way and never raised a fuss about paying for the war under President Bush are now trying to score political points. They aren’t looking to make hard choices, they are looking to make campaign commercials, and continue their agenda of “no” to fixing the mess the Bush-Cheney administration left behind.”
“For Republicans to oppose funding for our troops in the field is unconscionable,” said Jon Soltz of VoteVets.Org. “It also makes no sense. They’ve largely supported President Obama’s execution of the war in Afghanistan, we still have troops in Iraq, a war that they supported. So, we’re left with no other conclusion than this is just about politics – playing politics with our troops.”