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Representative Waters Calls for Change in Iraq War Policy

July 30, 2009
Press Release

Today, the House of Representatives voted on the Iraq War Supplemental Appropriations bill.  Rep. Waters released the following statement:

"As Chairwoman and co-founder of the Out of Iraq Congressional Caucus, I have stood in strong opposition to the war in Iraq—and have offered constructive alternatives—at every juncture. 

"Working with my colleagues Reps. Barbara Lee and Lynn Woolsey, I have promoted and advocated for a new policy.  Today, I testified in front of the House Rules Committee in support of bringing three amendments to consideration of the House.  The first was the Lee Amendment, which would direct funds solely for safe redeployment of our troops from Iraq instead of providing President Bush with yet another blank check.  The second was the Woolsey Amendment, which would provide funding for the U.S. Institute of Peace to conduct reconciliation activities inside of Iraq.  The last was the Waters Amendment, which would address the Iraqi refugee crisis by exerting U.S. leadership and diplomatic intervention.

"Our three amendments mapped out a progressive, positive path forward for US policy in Iraq which stands in stark contrast to Bush's agenda of permanent military occupation.  The American people are demanding a real change in policy toward Iraq, and they demand more from Congress than what we are to vote on today.  Unfortunately, our amendments were not allowed, and the House did not choose to fundamentally change U.S. policy in Iraq.  Instead, a majority of the House voted to give President Bush a $170 billion check to continue pursuing his mismanaged and misguided adventure in Iraq as he sees fit.

"After over five years of war in Iraq, over 4,100 Americans killed, over 30,000 Americans wounded, over $500 billion spent, perhaps over 600,000 Iraqis killed and nearly 5 million displaced, the only responsible solution is to end the occupation in Iraq and engage diplomatically rather than militarily.  Congress has the constitutional responsibility to exercise oversight of the Executive Branch, and by abdicating this role we risk being judged accomplices to the worst foreign policy mistake of our generation.

"Despite the setback today, I will not rest until we end the war in Iraq and bring the last servicemember home."