Mr. MURTHA. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
I think that this amendment does the opposite of what he would hope. It sends a signal to the American public: we expect to spend time there forever. Permanent bases can be negotiated at any time with the government. What we are saying with this bill is that at this point in time there shouldn't be any permanent bases in Iraq. And when you strike this language, it does the opposite of the impact the gentleman wants to have.
As I travel around the country, I hear this all the time. I hear the President say no permanent bases, I hear the Secretary of Defense say no permanent bases in Iraq. I am just reiterating what the policy of this country is, that we shouldn't have permanent bases in Iraq.
Once we start down this road of permanent bases, I remember reading something where Harry Truman said we would be out of Germany in two or three years; we were there for 50 or 60 years. We are spending almost $8 billion a day, or a month, in Iraq. And I think one of the bases that we were going to build, the construction costs were almost double what they anticipated the permanent base we were looking at or at least the temporary base we were looking at would be. I can't imagine what a permanent
base would cost if you are going to build it. You have got to have permanent security. There are all kinds of things that have to be built in.
This is not the time to eliminate a provision like this, and I would hope that the gentleman would withdraw this amendment because it is very disruptive to what our troops are doing. We are trying to figure out a way to solve this problem. And when the gentleman offers an amendment like this, I think it has the opposite impact of what he is trying to do.