Katie Grant, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) submitted the following statement for the Congressional Record on an amendment to defund the U.S. military mission in Libya:
"Last month, the House voted against defunding the American military mission in Libya. That was the right decision, and it still is: along with our NATO allies, we intervened in Libya in response to Moammar Gadhafi’s violent repression of his own people, and the explicit promise of worse to come. It's also important to remember that Gadhafi has more American blood on his hands than anyone other than Osama bin Laden. And we must remember that we intervened in response to calls from the Arab League, the United Nations, the European Union, and a unanimous NATO.
"Our allies have taken the leading role in Libya, but it is crucial that America continue to support them. It’s crucial because the campaign against Gadhafi has made significant progress, which would be dramatically set back by a sudden withdrawal of American support; because that sudden withdrawal of support could endanger civilian lives and stall democratic movements across the Middle East; and because it would represent a failure to keep faith with our NATO allies. As I said the last time this issue came to the floor: either we are in an alliance, or we are not. And if we are, that means supporting our allies in their time and place of need, so that they will continue to do the same for us—a principle that is especially important when civilian lives are at stake. I urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment."