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Congresswoman Maxine Waters

Representing the 43rd District of California

HR 2346, Supplemental Appropriations Act

August 4, 2009
Floor Statement
Rep. Maxine Waters [D-CA]: Mr. Speaker and Members, I rise in opposition to this supplemental appropriation. This bill simply continues and amplifies the failed policies that have caused us to be caught up in a continued occupation of Iraq and an increasingly large presence in Afghanistan.

Instead of playing the Taliban shell game and so-called chasing Osama bin Laden, we should devise a smart strategy to win the hearts and minds of the people of Iraq and Afghanistan. They will help us to locate Osama bin Laden. Air strikes that kill innocent civilians will only harden the civilians against us.

The Taliban are leading us into Pakistan, where we are on the verge of a new footprint, after giving the former President Musharraf billions of dollars while he was playing footsie with the Taliban and allowing them to control the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Now President Zardari has proven to be weak and ineffective, yet we're rewarding him with more of our tax dollars.

There are two good amendments that should have been made in order: the McGovern amendment, which would require a simple exit strategy, and the Tierney amendment, which would have placed conditions on any additional dollars given to Pakistan.

We should be taking over the madrassas, rebuilding infrastructures, and building democratic institutions that will support long-term sustainability in these countries.

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