Senate Democrats

Senate Leaders Urge President To Sign Bill That Funds Troops And Change Mission In Iraq

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senate leaders in New York today urged President Bush to sign the emergency spending bill the Senate passed yesterday and will send to the White House early next week. Senators Harry Reid, Dick Durbin, Chuck Schumer, Patty Murray and Byron Dorgan discussed the recently passed legislation, which fully provides for our troops and lays out a strategy to change the mission in Iraq from policing a civil war to one that focuses on counter-terrorism.

“After more than four years of a failed policy, it’s time for Iraq to take responsibility for its future,” Reid said. “We are asking the President to carefully read this bill.  He will see it fully provides for our troops and gives them a strategy worthy of their sacrifices.  Failing to sign this bill would deny our troops the resources and strategy they need.  The President has a choice. Heed the call of the American people, a bipartisan majority of Congress and military experts to change course or keep our troops committed to an open-ended civil war.”

Said Durbin: “The face of this war can be found in the stories of thousands of soldiers who’ve returned home, haunted from war. The face of this war can be found in the grief of the families in the 3,335 homes across America where a folded American flag and fading photographs are daily reminders of a fallen soldier. Yesterday we passed a bill that gives the President a chance to finally change the course of this war and bring our brave fighting men and women home. I hope the President honors these soldiers and their families by brining this war to an end.”

“Forcing our troops to referee a civil war is not getting us anywhere. It’s making things worse,” Schumer said.” We want to change the mission away from policing a civil war, which no one bargained for, and toward counter-terrorism. This bill is proof positive that we can both support the troops and change the mission in Iraq. That’s what the American people want, and I hope that the President hears the message loud and clear, reconsiders this historic bill and signs it.”

Said Murray: “Now it’s the President’s choice to either stand with the American people or continue to go it alone and force our troops, injured service members and hard-hit communities to pay the price. With one signature, President Bush can show he’s finally heard the universal call for a new direction in Iraq.”