Below are her remarks:
'I thank the gentleman for yielding and I want to express the appreciation of so many in this Congress and this country for his tremendous leadership. For 30 years, Ike Skelton has been a great champion for our men and women in uniform - for the quality of their lives and their families as they serve our country; for their readiness as they prepare to go to war; for their well-being as they fight for our country, for an appreciation of the sacrifice that they are willing to make, they and their families are willing to make.
'And thank you for giving us this opportunity today to speak on behalf of the American people. To take a step to end this war in
'The report makes clear that not even the White House can conclude that there has been significant progress on the war on the resolution benchmarks. This is hardly a surprise given what is publicly available each day in the media.
'Truck bombs killing scores of people in the markets. The supposedly secure Green Zone is rocked by a 30-minute mortar and rocket barrage. Despite 30,000 additional American troops to increase security, Iraqi leaders are urging their people to arm themselves for their own protection.
'Legislation to make the Iraqi political process more inclusive is stalled in the Iraqi legislature. And the cost of the war in precious lives and wounded American heroes continues to rise. Since the surge began, we have lost nearly 600 American troops.
'The benchmarks that are being reported on today were endorsed by President Bush and the government of
'Remaining bogged down in a sectarian civil war in
'As General Batiste has said, '
'The American people see the danger in clinging to an untenable situation in
'We will repeat that judgment legislatively as often as necessary, hopefully with an increasing level of support from our Republican colleagues, until pressure from the American people causes the President to change his mind and his policies.
'To those who urge that we wait until September, I say that it has been four and a half years and half a trillion dollars, at least -- we have already waited too long. The troops in their third and fourth tours in
'After more than 3,600 lives have been lost to a flawed strategy, we have a responsibility to create a new direction.
'After spending $329 million every day on the war in
'After five years of a failed policy in
'Chairman Skelton's bipartisan bill offers a step we can take today toward bringing the troops home. To creating a strategic vision for stability in the Middle East, and for beginning to rearm our military.
'Let us pass this bill and those that will follow in the coming weeks and provide the new direction on
'I urge a yes vote on the Skelton bill.'