Maloney Votes for New Direction in Iraq
“The American people want a new direction in Iraq. By every measure, this war has cost Americans far too much – whether it’s lives lost, dollars spent, or our reputation tarnished around the world,” said Maloney.
The legislation approved by the House calls for the redeployment of American troops from Iraq and a change in mission for U.S. forces on the ground. Specifically, the bill:
• Requires the redeployment of U.S. troops from Iraq to begin within 30 days of the bill being signed into law, with a target for completion of December 15, 2008;
• Requires a transition in the mission of US forces in Iraq from primarily combat to: force and diplomatic protection, limited support for Iraqi security forces and targeted counterterrorism operations;
• Prohibits deployment of any troops not fully equipped and trained, but allows the President to waive this prohibition only if the national security of the United States is in danger; and
• Prohibits all US government agencies from engaging in torture.
The President has asked Congress for an additional $200 billion for Iraq, bringing the total request to $607 billion in direct expenditures since the start of the war. This is well over 10 times more than the original $50 to $60 billion cost estimated by the Administration prior to the start of the war.
The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has estimated that federal spending on the war could reach $2.4 trillion dollars by 2017. And, a report released this week by the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), which Congresswoman Maloney vice-chairs, found that when the “hidden costs” of the war are added in, the total economic costs could rise by over $1 trillion to $3.5 trillion. The JEC report also revealed that all Americans are paying for this war one way or another – whether it’s higher prices at the pump, lost business investment, rising interest payments on the debt, or fixing the all the broken bodies and our stretched military.
“The cost of this war has simply been too great, and the human toll too high. Democrats in Congress are committed to bringing our troops home soon, charting a new, more responsible direction in Iraq, repairing the readiness of our military and refocusing our efforts to fight terrorism around the world,” said Maloney. “This legislation sends the President an important message: start bringing our troops home, now.”
The Iraq war is already longer than U.S. participation in World War II, World War I, the Korean War, and the Civil War. More than 3,850 U.S. troops have lost their lives and more than 28,0000 have been wounded.