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.