Today, I voted for both the $22 billion supplemental funding for domestic programs and the $98 billion supplemental funding for our troops in Iraq.
The Democrats in Congress have already sent a supplemental to the president that would have set benchmarks and timelines for the responsible redeployment of U.S. forces from Iraq. Instead of demonstrating to the American people and the Iraqi Government that our commitment is not open-ended, the president vetoed our bill and refuses to recognize that this war cannot be won militarily.
Some have suggested that since the president refuses to compromise, Democrats should refuse to send him anything. I disagree. There is a point when the money for our troops in Iraq will run out, and when it does, our men and women serving courageously in Iraq will be the ones who will suffer, not this president.
Patience has run out and I feel a change in direction happening within the chambers of Congress. While we don't have the votes right now to change the president's policy, I believe that come September we will have the votes from both Democrats and Republicans to change policy and direction. In September, General Petraeus will report back on the progress of the surge, and Congress will take up both the $460 billion base defense appropriations bill and the $141 billion Iraq supplemental. The surge is not producing the results that were promised. And, based on my discussions with Iraqi Government officials, I don't believe they have the motivation to bring about the political and economic benchmarks agreed to. This is why September will be key.
We have lost 418 of our fellow Americans since the president announced his surge, and come September, with your help, we can convince my colleagues from across the aisle that enough is enough. For almost two years, I have tried diligently to redeploy our forces from Iraq, and I will not stop now.