WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after Vice President Dick Cheney – during a speech in Alabama – urged Congress to continue to rubber-stamp the Administration’s funding requests for Iraq as previous Republican-controlled Congresses have done. The Vice President, according to transcripts, stated: “And so it is pointless for the Democrats to continue pursuing [the House and Senate passed supplemental appropriations bills]:"
“It is increasingly clear that, when it comes to the war in Iraq, this Administration is out of touch with the views of the American people, who are demanding a change in direction and a policy designed to succeed.
“Today, the Vice President of the United States said it was ‘pointless’ for Democrats in Congress to fight for a supplemental appropriations bill that would fully fund our troops in harm’s way, while – for the first time in four years – holding the Iraqi government accountable for making political progress and quelling violence, demanding proper training and equipment for our troops, and providing a responsible strategy for a phased redeployment of U.S. forces.
“It is stunning that the Vice President and this Administration would so casually ignore the views of the American people, nearly 70 percent of whom endorse the Democratic proposal to redeploy American troops within a year or not later than August 2008. It is not ‘pointless’ for the Congress to heed the will of the American people; however, it is pointless for this Administration to continue with its failing stay-the-course strategy.
“Given this Administration’s repeated, egregious misjudgments over the last four years, it is long past time for this Congress to demand accountability and a new direction in Iraq. And let no one be mistaken: The war-spending bills approved by Democrats in Congress are the justified response of the people’s representatives to a policy that is failing and an Administration which refuses to recognize that we must change directions.”