Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Democrats On Iraq Vote

Here's a collection of statements from Senate Democrats on the vote Tuesday that defeated a Republican amendment to strip Iraq-withdrawal language from the $122 billion war-funding bill being considered this week in the Senate:

Ted Kennedy (D-MA)

“This is a victory for the American people, our soldiers in Iraq, and our national security. The American people have been pleading for a change of course in Iraq, and the Senate has finally responded. Rather than continuing to defy the will of the American people and Congress by threatening to veto this legislation, President Bush should put the Iraqis on notice. The President must make it clear to the Iraqi Government that it’s time for them to take responsibility for their own country and resolve their political differences. The American military will not police Iraq’s civil war indefinitely, and our troops will begin to come home to the hero’s welcome they have surely earned.”

Ken Salazar (D-CO)

“Our troops have done the heavy lifting to free Iraq and now the Iraqis must take responsibility for their country. Today’s vote is about ensuring that change takes place and I voted for it.

“I continue to believe our troops deserve a policy that is worthy of their sacrifice and dedication. This policy continues to honor them and moves Iraq in a new direction. I remain hopeful the President will listen and support it.”

Barbara Boxer (D-CA)

"For the first time, the Senate has passed binding legislation to begin the redeployment of American troops out of Iraq and to change their mission from a combat mission to a support mission, as recommended by the Iraq Study Group. The will of the American people, as expressed in the last election, is finally being recognized. I hope the President will sign this bill and realize that there can no longer be a one-man show when it comes to Iraq."

John Kerry (D-MA)

"Today's vote gets our country one step closer to ending this ill-advised war and bringing our troops home. Last summer there were only 13 votes in favor of a deadline to redeploy our troops out of Iraq, and allowing the Iraqis to settle their civil war. Today there were 50. I encourage President Bush to think carefully about the strong majority of the American public that no longer believes in this war before he vetoes this bill."

Barack Obama (D-IL)

"Those who would have us continue this war in perpetuity like to say that this is a matter of resolve on behalf of the American people. But the American people have been extraordinarily resolved. They have seen their sons and daughters killed or wounded on the streets of Fallujah. They have spent hundreds of billions of dollars on this effort – money that could have been devoted to strengthening our homeland security and our competitive standing as a nation.

"No, it has not been a failure of resolve that has led us to this chaos, but a failure of strategy – a strategy that has only strengthened Iran’s strategic position; increased threats posed by terrorist organizations; reduced U.S. credibility and influence around the world; and placed Israel and other nations friendly to the United States in the region in greater peril.

"The cause to defend our country and our interests around the world will never end. It will be one of country’s constant threads through the ages. It is our sacred trust to ensure that those moments, those times of great struggle, are the right ones. And when they are not, we must continue to try and end those conflicts for the sake of our country our service men and women and the ideals we hold dear."

Jack Reed (D-RI)

"This is a strong message which amplifies the action of the House and reflects the overwhelming sentiment of the American people. It is a message that must be heeded by the President and the government of Iraq.

"This resolution will allow us to focus on missions that are essential to our security: training Iraqi security forces, going after terrorists, and protecting our forces, and allows us to begin a phased redeployment.

"And it also contains robust funding for American forces, because our commitment is to fund those forces. But it is also our commitment, and our effort over the last several months, to give them a mission that is sensible and contributes to the security of the United States and I think this resolution does that."

Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI)

"The American people have said it's time for a new direction, and both the House and the Senate have listened. Bringing American troops home and handing over security responsibilities to the Iraqis is now our best and only step forward, and I hope the President will not miss this opportunity to change course."