Rep. Waters Helps Lead Bipartisan Legislation to Ensure No Permanent Bases in Iraq
U.S. Representative Maxine Waters (CA-35), Chair and Co-founder of the 76-Member "Out of Iraq" Congressional Caucus, was an original co-sponsor of the ‘No Permanent Bases' bill that passed the House by a wide margin. H.R. 2929 prohibits the establishment of permanent military bases in Iraq and the U.S. exercise of control over Iraqi oil resources.
On Wednesday, the U.S. House of Representatives voted 399-24 to pass H.R. 2929, banning permanent bases in Iraq. Rep. Waters said "the overwhelming, bi-partisan vote to ban permanent bases in Iraq sent a strong message to other nations around the world, to the people of Iraq, and to President Bush. Our presence in Iraq is not to be a permanent occupation - and it cannot be perceived that way. The responsibility for the security of Iraq will ultimately fall on the shoulders of Iraq and its neighbors."
The goals of this legislation are strongly endorsed by the findings of the Iraq Study Group. Amongst the recommendations were the suggestions that "the President should state that the United States does not seek permanent military bases in Iraq," and "the President should restate that the United States does not seek to control Iraq's oil." Unfortunately, the actions of the Bush Administration often run counter to this sensible proposal.
Rep. Waters said "A large percentage of Iraqi citizens believe the United States invaded Iraq to gain access to Iraqi oil. By constructing a fortress-like embassy and demanding passage of an Oil law that will open Iraqi oil fields up to American Corporations, the Bush administration has reinforced their fears. This perception fuels resentment against our troops and contributes to the ongoing violence. The legislation we passed today is a step in the right direction, but our work is not complete until we redeploy every last American troop from Iraq."