Pelosi: Bush and His Republican Allies Are Preventing Extra Funds from Reaching Our Troops


Washington, D.C. — Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today in response to President Bush’s remarks this afternoon at the Pentagon:

‘Earlier this month, Congress approved nearly a half trillion dollars for the Department of Defense. Just two weeks ago, House Democrats passed $50 billion in additional funding for our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.  We have provided every penny that is currently necessary to fund Defense Department operations in Iraq, Afghanistan, and around the world.  It is President Bush and his Republican allies in the Senate who are preventing extra funds from reaching our troops.

‘The President opposes the House bill because it requires our troops to be fully trained and fully equipped before they are deployed, establishes a goal of December 2008 for the completion of the redeployment of our forces from Iraq, and prohibits torture as an interrogation technique for the U.S. government.

‘Rather than explain to the American people why he objects to those provisions, the President and Republican Senators have prevented the Senate from even considering the bill.  Today at the Pentagon, the President spoke of the need for Congress to work together to ensure that our troops and their families have the support they need.  In that spirit, I call upon the President to instruct Senate Republicans to stop blocking consideration of the House funding bill.  It is their obstruction that is producing the uncertainty for our troops and their families that the President voiced concern about today.

‘The President also spoke of the need to modernize our military.  The single biggest obstacle to improving our military capabilities is the war in Iraq, which has plunged military readiness to levels not seen since the Vietnam War.  Reducing the number of American troops in Iraq as called for in the House funding bill is essential if the military readiness crisis is to be resolved.

‘Our brave men and women in uniform have done everything that has been asked of them in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Democrats are committed to providing them everything they need to do their jobs and to care for their families.’

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