From the Office of Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
 

Pelosi Statement on Democratic Resolution on Iraq

March 17, 2004

Washington, D.C. -- House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and Congresswoman Jane Harman, Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee, held a news conference this afternoon to announce a Democratic resolution, H Res 564, to honor the troops serving in Iraq. Below are Pelosi's remarks:

On Republican Iraq Resolution:

"With their resolution, the Republicans are in denial as to why we went into Iraq, in denial as to the current state of stability and security in Iraq, and are denying our men and women the benefits, the equipment, and the quality intelligence that they deserve as they serve our country."


"Good afternoon. It is with some level of sadness that I come here because of the tragedy in Baghdad this afternoon, with so much loss of life. The purpose of coming together here is to announce legislation that Democrats introduced today to honor and praise our troops, to demonstrate our appreciation for their courage, their patriotism, and the sacrifice they are willing to make for our country.

"We learned at the end of last week that there would be a resolution on Iraq coming to the floor this week. Unfortunately, the Democrats were shut out from any discussion or input into that resolution, and in the rule that was sent to the House floor, we were not allowed to have an amendment, nor to have a motion to recommit with instructions about what we would like to see in it.

"Instead, we have a resolution that tends to divide rather than reconcile and bring together our country around this very sacred subject: the courage, the sacrifice and the patriotism of our men and women in uniform.

"The only parliamentary maneuver that we were allowed was on the rule, and I was very pleased that 100 percent of the Democrats voted this morning to protest the Republican rule and its unfairness, and supported some of the provisions that we have in our bill, which we are now introducing as a free-standing resolution.

"Our legislation adds to what the Republicans are proposing by extending condolences to the families of those killed in Iraq and urging that our troops in Iraq be equipped with the body armor and armored vehicles that they need to keep them safe.

"This is important because while we are debating on the floor a resolution to honor our troops, at the very same time, the Republican budget that is being debated in another room in the Capitol dishonors the promises made to the troops by not providing the equipment that they need for force protection.

"Our bill urges that intelligence deficiencies be immediately remedied. It takes steps to correct the Bush Administration’s failure to plan adequately for the post-war occupation of Iraq. More than 560 young men and women have died, over 400 of them since the President declared the war over.

"Our resolution talks about an honest accounting for the ongoing costs of the military operation in Iraq. In the President's budget, there is no funding for the Iraq operation.

"Our resolution speaks to assembling a true international coalition.

"Very importantly, our legislation urges the elimination of disparities in pay between our active duty military and the National Guard and reservists. And it urges that quality health care and benefits for our wounded servicemen and women be provided when they return home.

"In the debate on the floor this afternoon, our Members will speak to the valor of our troops, and how much we honor them. They will also speak to the hypocrisy and inconsistency of the Republicans, who in one room of the Capitol talk about honoring our men and women in uniform, and in another room, dishonor their promises by not providing adequately for the troops.

"With their resolution, the Republicans are in denial as to why we went into Iraq, in denial as to the current state of stability and security in Iraq, and are denying our men and women the benefits, the equipment, and the quality intelligence that they deserve as they serve our country."


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