7:55 PM EDT
Nancy Pelosi, D-CA 8th

Ms. PELOSI. Mr. Speaker, thank you very much. I thank the gentleman for yielding and commend him for his exceptional leadership in bringing this important legislation to the floor. I also acknowledge the leadership of Mr. Murtha and Mr. Skelton for all that they are doing to make our country safer and to support our troops.

Mr. Speaker, the war in Iraq is the greatest ethical challenge facing our Nation. This is so because our troops are being sent into battle without the training, equipment. And the strategic plan for success because the administration is not honoring our commitment to our veterans and because the Iraqi war has strained our military, and therefore weakened our ability to fight the war on terrorism.

By placing an unacceptable strain on our military, this war is undermining our ability to protect the American people. Instead of making the American people safer, the war in Iraq has weakened our ability to protect our Nation from the threat posed by international terrorism, I repeat.

As Major General Petraeus said, right now we are not prepared. We are not prepared for the threat this Nation faces here at home. And, because in this business you cannot be half ready or half prepared, you are either ready or you are not.

We have put our citizens at greater risk. We have put their lives at greater risk, their property, our economy, our way of life, and that is just unacceptable.

Instead of strengthening our hand, the President's policies in Iraq have weakened our reputation in the world and diminished our ability to lead the international effort against terrorism, which again is the real threat.

With U.S. focus on Iraq, the war in Afghanistan has intensified because of the resurgence of the Taliban and al Qaeda in the absence of the fullest effort on our part there.

As Major General John Baptiste said, Here is the bottom line. Americans must come to grips with the fact that our military alone cannot establish a democracy. We cannot sustain the current operational tempo without seriously damaging the Army and the Marine Corps. Our troops have been asked to carry the burden of an ill-conceived mission. End of quote, Major General John Baptiste.

Our troops have done everything that they have been asked to do and excellently. We salute them for their courage, their patriotism, and the sacrifices they and their families are making. Instead of being honored as the heroes they are when they come home, our wounded veterans are being forced to cope with a system that is not equipped to care for them. Preparation was not made.

Americans have been shocked by the revelations of the appalling care at Walter Reed. As Senator Max Cleland, a great patriot, a decorated Army veteran, said, Walter Reed is the ugly face of the Iraq war. It is a face that the American people need to see because this administration from the beginning never planned to deal with casualties, never planned for the consequences of this war.

Last fall, the American people voted for a new direction in Iraq. They made it clear that our troops must be given all they need to do their jobs but that our troops must be brought home responsibly, safely and soon.

The President responded to this clear call for winding down the war in Iraq with a policy of escalation in Iraq that has been tried three times previously and failed and, additionally, has burdened our already strained military.

The problems addressed in this bill are problems of the President's own making. From the start of the war, the President has failed to recognize and to request in his budget the funds needed by our troops serving in Iraq, as has been indicated by the distinguished chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Mr. Obey.

[Time: 20:00]

This is the seventh emergency appropriations bill that Congress has had to pass to make up for the President's failure, seven emergencies. What is the surprise? Why aren't they understanding the cost of this war in lives and health, in reputation, in dollars, and the readiness of our military?

Furthermore, the President's budgets have failed to provide adequately for the medical needs of our troops wounded in Iraq and for other veterans. This bill supports our troops, honors our commitments to our veterans, rebuilds our military, and holds the Iraqi government accountable. It winds down the war by providing for the responsible redeployment of our combat forces based on benchmarks endorsed by the Iraqi government and by President Bush. They are his own benchmarks.

Oddly, though, even though they are the President's own benchmarks, holding the administration accountable to benchmarks has been criticized by the administration. They are criticizing their own benchmarks. Yet both Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and retired Major General Paul Eaton, formerly in charge of training of Iraqi security forces, have noted the value of timelines in persuading Iraqis to make the political compromises needed to end the violence.

Secretary Gates noted, we are all familiar with this, it bears repeating, ``The strong feelings expressed in Congress about the timetables probably has had a positive impact ..... in terms of communicating to the Iraqis that this is not an open-ended commitment.''

General Eaton said, ``This bill gives General Petraeus great leverage for moving the Iraqi government down the more disciplined path laid out by the Iraq Study Group.''

My colleagues, the war in Iraq has lasted longer than World War II and resulted in the lowest level of American military readiness since the Vietnam War. It has cost thousands of American lives, tens of thousands, scores of thousands of Iraqi lives, plus tens of thousands of our soldiers to suffer grievous injuries, and will cost well over $1 trillion if the war ended today.

The sacrifices borne by our troops and their families demand more than the blank check the President is asking for, for a war without end. The sacrifices demand a plan for bringing the war to an end. This bill contains that plan and provides the President for every dollar he asked for the troops, and, indeed, thank you, Mr. Murtha, much more.

I urge my colleagues to support it. I urge the President to sign the bill so that we can focus on winning the war against terrorism, which is the real threat to the American people. That is our responsibility, and we fully intend to honor it.

8:03 PM EDT
Jerry Lewis, R-CA 41st

Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 5 minutes.

Mr. Speaker, we know that this conference report before us will be vetoed by the President because of the Iraqi withdrawal language and the many unrelated and costly spending items that have absolutely nothing to do with the global war on terror or recovery efforts in the gulf coast.

It is no secret that many Members of the House and Senate, both Republicans and Democrats, have strong reservations about the manner in which this legislation undermines the authority of the President, our Commander in Chief. Members are also rightly concerned about how this legislation places military decisions in the hands of politicians rather than the military commanders in the field.

As I have said many times before, this legislation ought to focus on our troops. It ought to focus on providing those in harm's way with the resources they need to complete their mission successfully. It ought to respect, not micromanage, our combatant commanders in whom we place the ultimate responsibility for prosecuting military actions.

My colleagues know that I have great respect for my friend, Mr. Murtha, but I strongly disagree with his assertion that we ought to have 535 Members and Senators micromanaging the war in Iraq. With all due respect, that is not our job.

Let me again remind my colleagues, we are not generals, we are not the Secretary of State, and we most certainly are not the Commander in Chief. It is tragically ironic that the House is considering this conference report the same day that General David Petraeus met with Members in closed session on the current situation in Iraq.

It was on January 26 of this year, just 3 months ago, that the Senate voted 81-0 to confirm General Petraeus to be the top military commander in Iraq. One would have thought that Members and Senators would trust his judgment following such an extraordinary vote of confidence over 3 months ago. Senator Reid, who supported the General's confirmation, now says, and I quote, ``I don't believe him.''

Recent history reminds us that the enemy we face in Iraq, in Afghanistan and other countries that harbor terrorists will stop at nothing to seek opportunities to attack the United States and our allies. Have we not learned anything from the original World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the Khobar Towers bombing, the attack on USS Cole or 9/11 itself?

Al Qaeda will view this legislation as the first sign of the United States backing down from its commitment to the war on terror. It will view the withdrawal provisions contained in this conference report as America signaling retreat and surrender. Indeed, al Qaeda will view this as a day that the House of Representatives threw in the towel, waved the white flag and signaled retreat and surrender in Iraq.

Our failure to learn the lessons of history, our failure to lead today, will result in devastating consequences, including an even greater loss of lives, and even more resources needed to fight tomorrow. Just as we have only one top General in Iraq, one Secretary of State and one Commander in Chief, we only have one Speaker of the House at a time.

Speaker Pelosi and I have been friends and have served as colleagues on the Appropriations Committee for many years. The Speaker played an important role in supporting the development of unmanned aerial vehicles, a critical and successful military capability that is a key element to the war on terror. She and I worked on that in the Intelligence Committee together years ago. It is puzzling to me that the Speaker would not only openly question the judgment of General Petraeus, Secretary

Rice, and our Commander in Chief, but that she would also willingly work to undermine their efforts to secure a successful outcome in Iraq.

My colleagues, it is absolutely essential that America, the last remaining superpower on Earth, continue to be the voice for peace and freedom in our shrinking world. Our success is critical. Walking away will further signal to Syria, Iran, Afghanistan and others that the United States is no longer committed to a successful outcome in Iraq.

In closing, I ask Speaker Pelosi and my friends in the majority to weigh the implications of supporting this conference report. Even as I hold hope that the Speaker might have a road-to-Damascus conversion, I ask her to weigh the enormous consequences of putting our troops in peril. I strongly urge a ``no'' vote on this emergency supplemental.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

8:08 PM EDT
Nita Lowey, D-NY 18th

Mrs. LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of the conference report on H.R. 1591 and commend Chairman Obey for your efforts to protect our troops, respect the wishes of the American people, and preserve our Nation's interest in this bill.

Our troops have served with honor and courage. However, they should be deployed only when battle ready and with a clear and achievable mission. Neither is the case today in Iraq. Recent reports indicate the troop surge is not working. The number of casualties rose again in March, and this bloody trend continues.

We have heard from this administration that it is not willing to negotiate on Iraq. Frankly, their unwillingness to compromise has led us to this point, and the right of the American people to be heard is nonnegotiable. No amount of American blood or treasure can help Iraq if the Iraqis don't help themselves. [Page: H4148]

The Maliki government must exhibit the political will to confront extremists, to give all segments of society a stake in Iraq's future, and to put Iraqi revenues towards the hard task of reconstruction. That is why this bill asks the President to certify that the Iraqis are doing their part in meeting critical benchmarks.

In addition, I am pleased the conference report includes nearly $200 million in increased funding for Afghanistan, $80.3 million for Jordan, $45 million for Liberia, $769 million for Lebanon, much needed assistance for Sudan and Somalia, increased funding for disaster and refugee aid to Iraq, increased accountability through funding expanded mandates for the special Inspector General and the State and USAID IG operations.

While this bill provides most of the funding requested by the President, it puts in place safeguards and oversight to stop waste, fraud and abuse with U.S. taxpayer dollars in Iraq.

I urge my colleagues to support this bill.

8:10 PM EDT
Jerry Lewis, R-CA 41st

Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield 4 minutes to the ranking member on Homeland Security, the gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Rogers).

8:11 PM EDT
Hal Rogers, R-KY 5th

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. Mr. Speaker, I rise, regrettably, today in opposition to the supplemental conference report before us, the first time I have risen in opposition to an appropriations conference report in more than 12 years. The Democratic side of the aisle and many of their liberal newspaper editors are intent on substituting their judgment for that of our professional, trained, experienced military leaders.

I am reminded of a quote that I want to read to you, it's very brief, that speaks to this subject. I will tell you the author in just a moment. ``It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant citizens to edit newspapers. In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I am readily willing to yield my command

to these obviously superior intellects, and I will, in turn, do my best for the cause by writing editorials after the fact.'' Signed, Robert E. Lee.

This Congress is made up of 535 lawyers, doctors and teachers, some with military experience, some without. It is not, however, made up of 535 military commanders who possess the ability to manage a war against al Qaeda. Yet that is what this conference report does. It enables over just half of 535 politicians to micromanage the war in Iraq against al Qaeda.

Sadly, though, this is not the only reason to vote against this conference report. It's also full of billions of dollars in spending categorized as an emergency which undermines the true needs of our troops and gulf coast hurricane recovery efforts. Specifically for Homeland Security, the supplemental contains two categories of emergency funding, hurricane recovery and the global war on terrorism.

Speaking to the hurricane recovery portion, this is a true 2007 emergency. FEMA needs these funds now to continue our commitment to the devastated gulf coast region and to ensure the disaster relief fund does not run dry in the middle of what experts are predicting will be an active hurricane season.

I can only hope that in an effort to keep the overall exorbitant spending of the bill down, the majority has not shortchanged the true needs of this account.

The global war on terrorism, part of this funding bill, is another story. While it contains many worthy and important items such as nuclear and explosive detection systems and additional aircraft for the northern border, things I have supported in the past and continue to support, they are in no way a 2007 emergency. In every instance, these items could and should be addressed in the regular 2008 appropriations bill. By including them in this 2007 emergency, the majority is simply trying to look

strong on security and buy down requirements to free up funds in 2008 for additional spending.

[Time: 20:15]

While I support homeland security spending, I support it in a fiscally responsible way.

Mr. Speaker, it is not often that I have two such compelling reasons to vote against a bill: taking away authority to manage our war against al Qaeda from the military commanders, and carelessly adding billions of dollars in non-emergency spending. These are the very reasons we will be back here addressing these matters again in a couple of weeks after the President vetoes the bill.

We should address these issues now, and stop the political gamesmanship that harms both our troops and the gulf coast recovery effort. This bill is nothing short of a cut-and-run in the fight against al Qaeda. I urge a ``no'' vote.

8:15 PM EDT
Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, this bill is not cut and run. It's think and succeed. It's a good policy to try.

Mr. Speaker, tonight this House will adopt this reasonable conference report that fully funds our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and that responds to the will of the American people, who are demanding, demanding, that our Nation change course. I urge all of our Members here, on both sides of the aisle, to support this bill.

After the Senate passes this conference report and it is sent to the White House, I urge and implore the President to sign this bill, even though he seems determined to veto this legislation, thereby defying the will of the American people, 70 percent of whom disapprove of his handling of the war in Iraq.

I know there is not a Member in this body who does not pray for our success in Iraq and for the safe return of our brave servicemen and women who serve us there. However, we cannot ignore the facts. After the loss of more than 3,300 American soldiers and nearly 25,000 injured, and after the expenditure of more than $400 billion, which will be after the end of this fiscal year some $600 billion, on a war now in its fifth year, even President Bush and Secretary of Defense Gates acknowledge that

our efforts are not succeeding.

The Defense Department has concluded that the situation in Iraq is ``properly descriptive of a civil war.'' The Army Chief of Staff has issued warnings about the effect of the war on America's overall military readiness. And the Iraq Government has failed to meet political goals, such as reversing debaathification, drafting a plan for national reconciliation and disbanding militias, all of which are essential if we are to reach a political solution, as General Petraeus says is necessary.

In fact, last week, six ministers loyal to Muqtada al Sadr withdrew from the Iraqi Government, imperiling the chances of political resolution, which General Petraeus, as I said, says is imperative because, quoting again General Petraeus, ``There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq.'' General Petraeus: ``There is no military solution to a problem like that in Iraq.''

Meanwhile, the violence in Iraq continues. In just the last 2 weeks, a suicide attack inside the Iraqi Parliament killed eight, and spectacular car bombs, which occur almost daily, have killed hundreds.

Thus, Mr. Speaker, the question before the Members again today is this: Will we change direction in Iraq, or will we continue to stay the course with a failing policy? That is the question before this House tonight.

The answer, I think, is clear. After 4 years of rubber-stamping this administration's failed policy, not a service to the American people, this Congress must insist on accountability and a new direction. As the Speaker has said, more blank checks from this Congress would constitute an abdication of our responsibility and of our duty.

In short, this conference report protects our troops, requiring deployments to adhere to existing Defense Department standards. Mr. Murtha has not adopted these standards, nor has Mr. Obey, nor have any of us on this side of the aisle. These are Defense Department standards for training, acquiring equipment and armor, while allowing the President to waive those standards that are the Defense Department standards if, in his judgment, national security requires it. How much [Page:

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more responsible a position can we take?

The conference report holds the Iraqi Government accountable. I think that reflects the sentiments of the American people, who believe that the Iraqis need to step up and take responsibility. What Secretary Gates said was if we do not have a consequence of not taking responsibility, they will not do it.

In fact, even if Mr. Maliki wants to do it, he will not be able to get the disparate factions in Iraq to do it, unless they feel a necessity to do it. We've seen that here in this Congress. That's democracy at work. So this is an assistance to the Iraqi Government to bring people together, because it says if you don't, there is a consequence. The American public supports that alternative.

And it includes a responsible strategy for a phased redeployment of U.S. forces and refocuses, refocuses our efforts on fighting al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. There is nobody in this Congress who does not want to nor is not committed to confronting and defeating terrorism. No one should be misled by the false claims of those who argue that we must follow the same failing stay-the-course strategy. This bill does not constitute capitulation or micromanaging this war.

This may sound harsh, but had somebody told Custer that you are not supporting the troops unless you leave them here, they would have been wrong. As retired General Paul Eaton, who was in charge of training the Iraqi military in 2003 and 2004 recently stated, ``This bill gives General Petraeus great leverage for moving the Iraqi Government down the more disciplined path laid out by the Iraq Study Group. The real audience for the timeline language is Prime Minister Maliki,'' as I have said, ``and

the elected Government of Iraq.'' So concluded Paul Eaton, the general in charge of training Iraqis in 2003 and 2004.

Mr. Speaker, the American people want and deserve a Congress that holds the Iraqis accountable for making progress. The American people are paying a steep price; our children are paying a steep price for this war. They haven't been given the bill yet, but they will be. And our young men and women, and not so young men and women, are paying with their lives, with their limbs, and with their health.

The American people want and deserve, as I have said, a Congress that holds the Iraqis accountable, that holds the administration accountable for implementing a policy designed to succeed. This conference report gives us that opportunity.

I urge all of my colleagues, on every side of the aisle, from whatever party, support this conference report. I urge the President, when we pass this conference report, when the Senate passes it and we send it to the President, sign this conference report. It fully funds our troops, it does not micromanage the war, it tells the Iraqis we expect accountability; because if they take accountability, our troops will be safer, our country will be better off and Iraq will be on the path to democracy

that we hope for her and pray for her.

8:24 PM EDT
Roger Wicker, R-MS 1st

Mr. WICKER. Mr. Speaker, I served as a conferee on this bill Monday afternoon, and I was disappointed at what I saw. Everyone in the room knew then, as they know now, that President Bush will veto this legislation because it contains dangerous timelines for withdrawal in Iraq, undercutting our chances for success and making a political statement at a time when we should be working in a bipartisan manner to give our troops the resources they need to succeed.

Many of us heard General Petraeus this afternoon. I think most Members are highly impressed with his command of the situation and his candor. We ought to be willing to give him and his new strategy a chance. Instead, the bill before us tonight would guarantee failure.

This is a futile exercise and a waste of valuable time. It ensures further delay in getting the equipment, supplies and support to the troops. Because Congress has not provided this funding already, our military leaders must shuffle existing funds. Spending on new equipment will be postponed and repair work will be slowed on equipment needed elsewhere around the world, and the Pentagon will have to curtail training for National Guard and Reserve units. This will hamper their capabilities and

their readiness.

The veto will come quickly, and, when it does, I hope the majority will not engage in further attempts to micromanage the war. Let's craft a responsible, focused supplemental package that funds the military and demonstrates to our soldiers that we support their efforts to complete the mission.

Contrary to what some in the Democratic leadership say, the war is not lost. Let's not legislate as if it is.

8:26 PM EDT
Carolyn Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-MI 13th

Ms. KILPATRICK. Mr. Speaker, I thank our chairman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, this is a good bill. We are legislators. The President has a job and we who represent the people have a job. It funds the war, a war that the other side started, and the speech that they are giving tonight is the same speech they gave 4 years ago.

It's time to change course. This bill funds veterans who have been wounded severely, children who need health care, and all the emergencies that this country needs to address and has not been taking care of the last decade.

Pass the bill.

Mr. President, sign the bill. It's the best bill. The Senate and House have agreed, and we don't care that the President has said, before we even passed it out of the first Chamber, that he would veto it. We have to pass this bill, bring our troops home, and have a plan for success.

This is a good conference report. Americans, speak out. If the President does veto the bill, there is something to be paid. The troops need our help and our support, and I thank Chairman Obey and Chairman Murtha for their leadership. Vote for the conference report.

8:28 PM EDT
Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, first I want to make the point as strongly as I can that I want our troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan and anyplace else in the world where they are in harm's way as soon as we can possibly do it without risking the security of our own Nation and the security of our own people.

Mr. Murtha and I have been partners in this business for many, many years, and he and I have both stood by the bedside of too many wounded troops and have attended too many funerals, and we want this over.

As a matter of fact, the legislation before us, the appropriations part of this defense bill is a good package. Mr. Murtha and I met prior to him submitting this to the full Appropriations Committee and we agreed. Basically I told Mr. Murtha that these are about the same numbers that I would have recommended if I were still the chairman. But we did agree to disagree on the issue of the restrictive language on the conduct of the battlefield.

My memory takes me back, as we discuss this legislation now, to October of 1983, where terrorists attacked the Marine barracks in Beirut. The Marines there on a peacekeeping mission and 241 of our troops were killed. In February of 1993, the World Trade Center was bombed, as Chairman Lewis noted in his comments. Six lives were lost.

[Time: 20:30]

In June of 1996, Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia, where our airmen were being housed, was bombed. Nineteen American lives were lost. August of 1998, our embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were bombed by terrorists again. Two hundred fifty-nine lives were lost. October of 2000, the USS Cole off the shore of Yemen was bombed by terrorists. Again, 17 American lives lost, and almost every crewman on the ship injured.

But all this time nothing happened except a lot of rhetoric. Well, we talked a lot. We were going to hunt them down. And you can run, but you can't hide.

But finally, after September 11, the people of America were so incensed by what they saw with the airplanes flying into the two World Trade Centers, the airplane flying into the ground in Pennsylvania, in or near Mr. Murtha's district, and the airplane flying into the Pentagon right across the river, killing some 3,000 innocent people. The people of America were incensed. They demanded action. The President of the United States promised action, and the Congress provided action. And subsequently,

our troops are in Afghanistan and are in Iraq. And it is essential that we provide whatever they need to carry out their mission and to protect themselves while they are carrying out the mission.

But now, what about leaving today or tomorrow or March or July, as some of these restrictions provide?

One of our great successes was Desert Storm. In Desert Storm, we attacked Saddam Hussein's armies successfully, and we annihilated, basically, his army. At least they ran away. They ran for cover. They surrendered. A lot of them lost the battle because the United States was aggressive and our coalition partners.

But here's where we made a mistake. Once we had Saddam's armies defeated, we left. We left before there was anything else there to provide a reasonable, logical government for the people of Iraq.

And what happened? Saddam responded in a vicious attack upon his own Iraqi citizens to continue the genocide that he began in earlier years. After we left from Desert Storm, he killed thousands of Shia Iraqis.

What General Petraeus and our American troops are trying to do is to give the Iraqi government that has been elected by the people, Constitution approved by the people, a parliament elected under the new Constitution by the people; General Petraeus said that the Iraqi security forces were growing in number, were growing in capability. Even the Sunnis are starting to join up with these security forces in Iraq to show a Sunni-Shia coming together. Not much, but a little bit.

But to let this government exist so that we didn't have another situation where we left, we didn't leave anybody in charge, and the bad guys took over again.

8:34 PM EDT
David Scott, D-GA 13th

Mr. SCOTT of Georgia. Mr. Speaker, you know, it's hard for me to even sit here and hear the other side talk about this, because they are missing the point. This is about our soldiers. If you care about our soldiers, you say you care about our soldiers, you will vote for this supplemental.

This supplemental has over $4 billion more than what the President asked for in everything. I'll tell you what this supplemental is about. It's about those soldiers that I visited in Landstuhl, Germany. On three different occasions, every time we went over to Iraq and over to Afghanistan we'd make a stop to come back.

You want to know what this supplemental is about? It's about those sons and daughters, 19 and 20 years old, who will never walk again with their legs because they have been cut off.

You talk about the President wants to veto this. Let's send it to him. Let him veto it. If he vetoes this bill that's got the money in it for the body armor that he sent troops into battlefield without, let him veto this. If he vetoes this bill, it will be like sending a dagger right in the heart of our soldiers.

8:35 PM EDT
Jack Kingston, R-GA 1st

Mr. KINGSTON. Mr. Speaker, Winston Churchill said, ``The United States of America always does the right thing after it has exhausted all the other alternatives.''

And what we are doing here tonight, through the Democrat Party, is exhausting all the other alternatives.

This bill is wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, the Democrat leadership promised to cut out the pork and nondefense spending and give us a clean bill. But this bill contains minimum wage legislation, children's health care appropriations, $31 million for milk subsidies, $460 million for food aid, much of that not even going to the [Page: H4151]

Middle East, $40 million for grain storage, $37 million for new computers for the FSA in Kansas City, $4 million

for the Office of Women's Health, and $15 million for livestock subsidies.

What does this have to do with Iraq? Not a thing.

And yet some of this stuff may have a lot of merit and get bipartisan support. But why not bring it up on the proper pieces of legislation, not on a military aid bill?

It's interesting, one of the Democrat Senators actually justified the nonmilitary spending saying, ``But the Republicans did it.'' And I agree with her. She's right. We did it. And that's why we are in the minority. The American people are tired of these kind of shenanigans.

Let's pull these items out and have a debate on their own merits, not on the backs of soldiers in Iraq.

Let's talk about Iraq. The Constitution, article I, section 2, says, and I quote, ``The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States and of the militia of the several States when called into the actual service of the United States.''

In other words, the President, as Commander in Chief, runs wars, not 535 arm chair generals on Capitol Hill.

But this legislation, or surrender document, usurps the President's constitutional prerogative. For this reason alone we should reject it.

And finally, let's talk about the gist of this surrender. Putting a timeline on a war is great if the enemy agrees with it. But for some reason, they never do. Never in the history of war has a country won by announcing their surrender date to the world. It's odd, it's reckless, and it won't work.

We should not micromanage this war. We should do as Winston Churchill said and do the right thing.

And I urge a ``no'' vote.

8:38 PM EDT
Patrick Murphy, D-PA 8th

Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart. This week, nine of my fellow paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were killed in Iraq. Nine more heroes killed, nine more paratroopers returning home in coffins draped in the American flag.

Mr. Speaker, Daniel Webster's words that are etched in the marble above implore each of us in this room, and I quote, ``To see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.''

Mr. Speaker, I know the task is daunting, but let this Congress be remembered for leading our country in a new direction in Iraq.

Mr. Speaker, I was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2004. Nineteen of my fellow paratroopers I served with never made it home from the streets of Baghdad. I carry their names with me every single day to remind myself of the solemn responsibility we face each time the Speaker bangs down her gavel.

Nineteen men, including Specialist Chad Keith from Indiana. Nineteen guys who never made it home to their families. Specialist James Lambert III, from North Carolina. Nineteen all Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Private Kyle Gilbert from Vermont. Nineteen men who are missed. Private First Class Marc Seidan from New Jersey. Nineteen men. Now we have nine more paratroopers to add to this list.

Mr. Speaker, how many more suicide bombs must kill American soldiers before this President offers a time line for our troops to come home?

How many more military leaders must declare the war will not be won militarily before this President demands that the Iraqis stand up and fight for their country?

How many more terrorists will President Bush's foreign policy breed before he focuses on developing a new strategy, a real strategy for fighting and beating al Qaeda?

Mr. Speaker, this bill says enough is enough. No more shortchanging our troops. No more open ended commitment in Iraq. No more refereeing a religious civil war.

Mr. Speaker, on the fourth anniversary of the war, I led this body in a moment of silence. Now my fellow Democrats offer a time line to bring our troops home.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are about to vote ``no'' on this bill, will you stand with us next year to offer a time line on the war's fifth anniversary?

How about a time line on the sixth? How about a time line on the 10th? Because that's what voting ``no'' does. It says no to the tough questions. No to accountability and no to providing our troops on the ground with a clear mission.

Mr. Speaker, I may be hopeful, but I am not naive. I hear Vice President Cheney taunt patriotic Americans who are concerned with the direction of our country. I see the President using his veto to hold our troops hostage to further his failed strategy in Iraq. I read the Bush Republicans' attacks questioning my patriotism and support for my fellow soldiers. But, Mr. Speaker, we have all heard these attacks before.

The American people know that President Bush and his allies are sadly out of touch. The American people know that supporting the troops means demanding accountability. The American people know we need a change.

Mr. Speaker, one of my fellow soldiers lost his brother in the World Trade Center on September 11 of 2001. This soldier is now in Iraq serving on his second deployment. And last week he sent me a message, unsolicited. It said, and I quote, ``Never did I think I would disagree with our foreign policy 5 years after my brother was murdered. Our latest mission here is to secure the Iraqi people. I signed up to secure the American people.''

My fellow colleagues, this bill, this vote helps us secure the American people. For too long the American people have been craving leadership, craving accountability, and craving a new direction in Iraq. Let's give this to them today.

8:43 PM EDT
Patrick Murphy, D-PA 8th

Mr. PATRICK J. MURPHY of Pennsylvania. Mr. Speaker, I rise today with a heavy heart. This week, nine of my fellow paratroopers from the 82nd Airborne Division were killed in Iraq. Nine more heroes killed, nine more paratroopers returning home in coffins draped in the American flag.

Mr. Speaker, Daniel Webster's words that are etched in the marble above implore each of us in this room, and I quote, ``To see whether we also, in our day and generation, may not perform something worthy to be remembered.''

Mr. Speaker, I know the task is daunting, but let this Congress be remembered for leading our country in a new direction in Iraq.

Mr. Speaker, I was deployed to Iraq in 2003 and 2004. Nineteen of my fellow paratroopers I served with never made it home from the streets of Baghdad. I carry their names with me every single day to remind myself of the solemn responsibility we face each time the Speaker bangs down her gavel.

Nineteen men, including Specialist Chad Keith from Indiana. Nineteen guys who never made it home to their families. Specialist James Lambert III, from North Carolina. Nineteen all Americans who paid the ultimate sacrifice. Private Kyle Gilbert from Vermont. Nineteen men who are missed. Private First Class Marc Seidan from New Jersey. Nineteen men. Now we have nine more paratroopers to add to this list.

Mr. Speaker, how many more suicide bombs must kill American soldiers before this President offers a time line for our troops to come home?

How many more military leaders must declare the war will not be won militarily before this President demands that the Iraqis stand up and fight for their country?

How many more terrorists will President Bush's foreign policy breed before he focuses on developing a new strategy, a real strategy for fighting and beating al Qaeda?

Mr. Speaker, this bill says enough is enough. No more shortchanging our troops. No more open ended commitment in Iraq. No more refereeing a religious civil war.

Mr. Speaker, on the fourth anniversary of the war, I led this body in a moment of silence. Now my fellow Democrats offer a time line to bring our troops home.

Mr. Speaker, I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle who are about to vote ``no'' on this bill, will you stand with us next year to offer a time line on the war's fifth anniversary?

How about a time line on the sixth? How about a time line on the 10th? Because that's what voting ``no'' does. It says no to the tough questions. No to accountability and no to providing our troops on the ground with a clear mission.

Mr. Speaker, I may be hopeful, but I am not naive. I hear Vice President Cheney taunt patriotic Americans who are concerned with the direction of our country. I see the President using his veto to hold our troops hostage to further his failed strategy in Iraq. I read the Bush Republicans' attacks questioning my patriotism and support for my fellow soldiers. But, Mr. Speaker, we have all heard these attacks before.

The American people know that President Bush and his allies are sadly out of touch. The American people know that supporting the troops means demanding accountability. The American people know we need a change.

Mr. Speaker, one of my fellow soldiers lost his brother in the World Trade Center on September 11 of 2001. This soldier is now in Iraq serving on his second deployment. And last week he sent me a message, unsolicited. It said, and I quote, ``Never did I think I would disagree with our foreign policy 5 years after my brother was murdered. Our latest mission here is to secure the Iraqi people. I signed up to secure the American people.''

My fellow colleagues, this bill, this vote helps us secure the American people. For too long the American people have been craving leadership, craving accountability, and craving a new direction in Iraq. Let's give this to them today.

8:51 PM EDT
Roy Blunt, R-MO 7th

Mr. BLUNT. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding as this debate comes to an end.

The legislation we have debated here tonight was at one point supposed to be an emergency supplemental spending bill for our troops, dispatched to them with urgency, resolution, and purpose. It was supposed to provide money and resources for our fighting men and women on the frontlines so that they had the tools and equipment they needed to finish the task at hand.

Instead the majority turned this important funding package into an exercise in political theater, along the way, disregarding the testimony of our military commanders, the wishes of many in their own caucus, and basic and numerous dictates of our Constitution and our history.

The result has been a final conference report, though we know it really won't be a final conference report. It has been a conference report that imposes artificial deadlines, ties the hands of our commanders in the field, and demotes those tasked with managing an active military engagement to the rank of administrative assistant, forced to check new boxes before exercising the authority they have today to execute their mission.

And it would spend billions of dollars on things that should have been debated at another time. Some of those things have merit. Some of those things I agree with. Some of them I don't. But they shouldn't have been debated as part of this bill.

Those who attended today's briefing with General Petraeus benefited from a clear and sober assessment of our chances for achieving success in Iraq and the consequences we can expect by declaring defeat. But not a single person in that room today, with knowledge of our progress on the ground, believes this war was lost or that our presence there was without merit. Unfortunately, too many in this Chamber seem convinced of the inevitability of defeat.

However this vote turns out, I am hopeful that tonight's roll call will end this effort to undercut our mission by undermining the authority of our commanders in the field. Republicans are willing, and have been willing, to work with the majority on this bill. But we will not waver on our insistence that an emergency troop support bill passed by Congress actually be focused on supporting the troops. The legislation before us tonight fails to meet that most basic standard.

I urge a ``no'' vote on this bill and ask my colleagues to join me tonight in standing up for the interests of our men and women in harm's way. And hopefully, very soon, we can join together in crafting a bill that will be considered quickly, as this one should have been, passed quickly, with help to the frontlines as soon as possible.

It's time for the political theater to end and the real work to begin.

8:55 PM EDT
David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I simply want to take this time to thank the staff on both sides of the aisle. They worked overtime for many days and many nights, and I appreciate it very much, especially the committee staff director, Rob Nabors.

I would also simply say that we have heard twice now from the minority that this bill endorses failure. Not at all. What we have seen the last 4 years is a failure of intelligence. We have seen a failure of the administration to listen to career military. We have seen a failure to plan for the occupation of Iraq. We have seen a failure on the part of the administration to give the Congress accurate information. We have seen a failure to focus on al Qaeda and Afghanistan rather than being diverted

to Iraq. We have seen a failure to understand the nature of the civil war in Iraq. And as a result, we have seen a tremendous collapse of American influence in the world. It is tragic.

I urge an ``aye'' vote for the resolution.

Mr. Speaker, I yield the balance of my time to Mr. Murtha.