Rep. Scott Supports Responsible and Orderly Withdrawal from Iraq
The Orderly and Responsible Iraq Redeployment Appropriations Act provides $50 billion to meet the immediate needs of our troops fighting overseas in Iraq. The bill will require the start of the redeployment of U.S. forces within 30 days of enactment and require redeployment to be completed by December 15, 2008. The bill also requires a transition in the mission of U.S. forces in Iraq from a primarily combat mission to force protection and diplomatic protection and targeted counterterrorism operations. In addition, the bill prohibits the deployment of U.S. troops to Iraq who are not fully trained and fully equipped.
“Today the House of Representatives passed an important bill to end our involvement in Iraq,” said Rep. Scott. “The Administration’s original time estimate for this war was ‘six days, six weeks, no more than six months.’ Now more than four years after the Administration declared ‘Mission Accomplished,’ the American people continue to hear the same refrain, ‘we are making progress, victory is right around the corner, just give us a little more time and a lot more money, and if you don’t believe that then you’re not patriotic, you don’t support the troops and you would prefer defeat and surrender to victory.’
“In 2003, the Administration testified before the House Budget Committee that the war and reconstruction would cost so little that the Budget Committee would not even have to consider the cost of the war and one Administration official was fired after he said that war might cost $100 billion. The total cost-to-date for this war is over $450 billion and for 2008 the President is requesting an additional $160 billion for Iraq alone. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that if our current policy in Iraq is maintained, this war could cost the American people as much as $2.4 trillion by 2017. And we must not forget the human cost of this conflict. Over 28,400 men and women in uniform have been wounded in Iraq. More tragically, this war has claimed the lives of more than 3,850 of our brave men and women in uniform and the lives of countless Iraqi civilians.
“A continued military presence in Iraq is counter productive. There are more terrorists in Iraq today than there were before we invaded. The quality of life for an average Iraqi civilian is worse today than before we invaded. Our men and women in the military have performed with honor and dignity, but the American people have realized that this war can only be won diplomatically, not militarily. It is now time for the President to come to the same conclusion.”