January 30, 2007
|Feingold: Congress Needs To Break "Taboo"||Iraq|
Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold:
Americans are not looking to Congress to pass symbolic measures, they are looking to us to stop the President's failed Iraq policy. That is why we must finally break this taboo that somehow Congress can't talk about using its power of the purse to end the war in Iraq. The Constitution makes Congress a co-equal branch of government. It's time we start acting like it. We have a moral responsibility, as well as a responsibility to the brave troops whose lives are on the line, to end the war. We can and must force the President to safely redeploy our troops so that we can get back to focusing on those who attacked us on 9/11. [...]
I want everyone to be clear on exactly what my proposal will do. The first and most important thing to know is that my plan does not cut funding for the troops. Our troops will continue to receive the salaries, equipment, training and protection they need. What I am proposing is ending funds for the continued deployment of U.S. forces in Iraq six months after the enactment of the bill. This will require the President to safely redeploy troops from Iraq by that date. My bill does provide exceptions to allow for specific types of military missions within Iraq past the six-month deadline, such as targeted counter-terrorism efforts, the protection of American personnel and infrastructure, and a limited number of troops needed to help train Iraqi security forces. But these will be limited forces used for specific missions.
Suggestions that our troops will be left in the lurch couldn't be further from the truth. My proposal would bring the troops out of harm's way.
Congress has used this power several times before, most recently in Somalia and in Bosnia in the 1990s. Nevertheless, I'm sure the White House and others will resort to their usual intimidation tactics to try to paint this proposal as not supporting the troops. I'd like to hear from the President exactly how sending 21,500 more U.S. troops into a civil war supports them. We must not let this administration continue to intimidate like it did in the lead-up to war. [Emphasis added]
Attaboy Russ. Makes me proud that I live in Wisconsin.