WASHINGTON - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to President Bush's remarks this morning on Iraq:
"Democrats have long been ready to sit down and talk to the President about how our nation must change direction in Iraq and implement a policy that is designed to succeed.
"Unfortunately, the President once again today repeated false assertions that call into question the sincerity of his invitation to sit down and talk on a bipartisan way forward. He wrongly blamed Congress for delaying a bill for Iraq – legislation in which our troops’ needs are the top priority -- and continues to disingenuously link the war in Iraq with 9/11. The fact is, this Administration’s failed policy has left our troops mired in the middle of a civil war, as the Defense Department itself recently stated.
"The President's Iraq policy put us on a path of failure. Congressional Democrats believe that we should not simply rubber-stamp more of the same. We believe that it is long past time for Congress to hold this Administration accountable. And, it is long past time for the President and this Administration to stop ignoring the will of the American people, who expect and deserve a change in direction in Iraq.”