Senate Democrats

Reid: As Opposition To President’s Escalation Plan Grows, Republicans Much Match Words With Action To Change Course In Iraq

Washington, DCSenate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following remarks today on the floor of the U.S. Senate:

Yesterday, the US Conference of Mayors highlighted the toll the Iraq war is taking on our health, safety and well-being here at home by voting for a resolution to bring the war to a responsible end.

“Stamford, Connecticut, Mayor Dan Malloy said the war is draining desperately needed funds from classrooms and municipal services.  David Cicilline, the Mayor of Providence, Rhode Island, said, “continued U.S. military presence in Iraq is resulting in the tragic loss of American lives and wounding of American soldiers…reducing federal funds for needed domestic investments in education, health care, public safety, homeland security and more.  I want to thank the U.S. Conference of Mayors for taking that important stand.

“And I also want to thank my good friend and colleague, Senator Richard Lugar from Indiana, one of our most trusted and esteemed colleagues on either side of the aisle – especially on foreign policy.  Yesterday Senator Lugar gave voice to the growing sentiment among his Republican colleagues that we must change course in Iraq.

“Senator Lugar said, ‘Persisting indefinitely with the surge strategy will delay policy adjustments that have a better chance of protecting our vital interests over the long term.’

“I understand that speaking out against the war is not easy for my Republican colleagues.  Senator Lugar’s comments – and those of the handful of other Republicans who publicly share his view – take real courage.  But courage is the only way we will change course in Iraq. 

“Some floor speeches go unnoticed, but Senator Lugar’s is not one of them.  When we finally end this war – and the history books are written – I believe that Senator Lugar’s words yesterday could be remembered as a turning point.  But that will depend on whether more Republicans will take the courageous first step that Senator Lugar took last night.

“I look forward to working with Senator Lugar – and I hope and believe a growing number of Republicans – to put his words into action by delivering the responsible end to the war that the American people demand and deserve.”