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Fact Check: The President's Remarks Today

On Iraq

PRESIDENT BUSH: 'Congress needs to start by passing a bill to fund our troops in combat.' [12/3/07]

FACT: In November, House Democrats passed a bill to fund our troops in combat - but, in accordance with the wishes of the American people, refused to give the President a blank check. Specifically, House Democrats passed a bill that provides our troops with $50 billion and a strategy that brings them home. The President's Republican allies in the Senate are blocking that funding for our troops because it is tied to a strategy that winds down the war and holds the Bush Administration accountable. In fact, all the President needs to do to ensure the funding gets to our troops in a timely fashion is call Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and tell him to stop blocking the bill from a vote. [New York Times, 11/15/07; Reuters, 11/17/07]

On FISA

PRESIDENT BUSH: 'Congress needs to make sure our intelligence professionals can continue to monitor terrorist communications. In August, Congress passed legislation to help modernize the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act... The problem is, the new law expires on February 1st - while the threat from the terrorists does not expire.' [12/3/07]

FACT: On November 15th, the House passed the RESTORE Act (H.R. 3773) which updates the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to give the intelligence community the strong tools it needs to track terrorists and prevent another terrorist attack, while protecting the constitutional rights of Americans whose communications may be intercepted in the process. It protects both national security and constitutional rights and reaffirms our Constitutional system of checks and balances. [New York Times, 11/16/07] The Senate is working on this bill and Congress will send it to the president's desk before the current law expires.

On Tax Reform for American Families

PRESIDENT BUSH: 'Congress needs to act immediately to prevent the Alternative Minimum Tax from hitting more Americans this year.' [12/3/07]

FACT: On November 9th, the House passed the Temporary Tax Relief Act (H.R. 3996) to provide AMT relief to millions of middle-class American families and extends a number of popular tax provisions that were set to expire this year. The bill also includes an increased refundable child credit and a deduction for property taxes paid by homeowners. [CNN Money, 11/9/07] The President has threatened to veto this AMT tax relief, arguing that this measure does not need to be paid for - heaping even more debt on the back of our children and grandchildren. The Senate is working on this bill and Congress will send legislation to the president's desk.

On Appropriations Bills

PRESIDENT BUSH: 'One of Congress's most basic duties is to fund the day-to-day operations of the federal government. Yet only one of the 12 spending bills has made it into law.' [12/3/07]

FACT: The House has passed all twelve appropriations bills - from Agriculture to Transportation - in the context of a five-year congressional balanced budget plan. Instead of working with Congress, President Bush continues to veto and threaten to veto bipartisan legislation that meets our nation's priorities. [Letter to President Bush, 11/10/07]