Washington, D.C.– Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, today announced a press conference on Thursday, July 1, at 10:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time to discuss Congressional opposition to the $33 billion earmarked for a continued troop presence in Afghanistan contained in the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010. According to a Gallup poll earlier this week, 58 percent of Americans favor withdrawing troops from Afghanistan by next July.
Grijalva will join other members of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus, a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers chaired by Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, to address the administration’s proposed war funding levels and rising opposition to our role in Afghanistan. The administration’s decision to call the funding request an “emergency,” after promising not to engage in war funding gimmicks last year, is “totally unsupportable,” Grijalva said in announcing the event.
“This failed effort has cost the United States hundreds of billions of dollars and more than a thousand lives,” Grijalva said. “We have no indication from our foreign policy leaders what we hope to accomplish in Afghanistan or how we intend to do it. The country has literally become a dead end for our troops, and our economy can’t sustain billions more in spending that we’ll never see back. This $33 billion is not an investment in our future or Afghanistan’s future. It’s time to put a stop to it.”
Grijalva highlighted a May 12 Congressional Research Service report that found many of the assumptions made to justify the increased funding request were questionable. As the report notes, “The first operation using the additional U.S. troops was the re-taking of Marjah, a town of 85,000, in Helmand Province in southern Afghanistan launched on February 13, 2010. While [the Pentagon] considers Marjah to be free of Taliban, recent press reports suggest a mixed picture.” Such efforts, Grijalva said, cannot justifiably be funded into the indefinite future.
Grijalva will join Chairman Conyers and other Members of Congress to discuss policy alternatives and their intention to vote against the war funding request.
House Radio-TV Gallery – Congressional Visitor Center Studio A (Access through HVC-117)
Thursday, July 1, 2010, 10:00 a.m.
- Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva, Co-Chair, Congressional Progressive Caucus
- Representative John Conyers, Jr., Chair, Out of Afghanistan Caucus
- Representative Mike Honda
- Representative Alan Grayson
- Members of the Out of Afghanistan Caucus and other Members opposed to the $33 billion earmarked for the war in the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010