He releases the following statement:
“I will oppose the Iraq supplemental to be voted on in the House this week. I continue to appreciate the difficult task that leadership faced in creating this legislation and the inclusion of a number of provisions in this bill that are desperately needed and that I wholeheartedly support. These include the minimum wage increase, continued recovery for the people and communities of the Gulf Cost region, and health care needs of our veterans and our children.
“I have opposed funding this war from the beginning, and I have no interest in funding it now. The previous supplemental, The Iraq Accountability Act, though flawed and at odds with many of my beliefs, represented a chance for hope. It had represented a first, all be it tentative, step in the difficult process of finally bringing this devastating war to an ultimate end through accountability standards that were tied to a withdrawal plan to bring our troops home.
“But I cannot in good conscience support this new version of an Iraq war funding bill. This bill removes important elements that hold the Administration accountable for its decisions in this quagmire; no more unwaivable benchmarks, no more required certification of the Iraq government’s efforts to resolve long-standing political conflicts linked to a timeframe for transition allowing our troops to begin a long overdue schedule of redeployment home. These revisions have effectively reduced this supplemental to a paper tiger that will give the Administration an unfettered extension to this ill conceived occupation, and an implied sanction by this Congress of the war, at least through the end of this fiscal year.
“I cannot tell those individuals and the families of those individuals who have died or been injured in Iraq that I supported their continued participation in an unaccountable war without end.