This week, the House and Senate heard from General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker on the situation in Iraq. Their remarks confirmed that the Administration remains committed to "staying the course," despite the reality on the ground: the Green Zone is regularly under attack, security gains seem unsustainable and dependent on the cooperation of Moqtada al-Sadr, and our military readiness has hit its lowest point in years. The Administration has still not made clear what conditions will have to be met before it is possible to leave. It is past time to redeploy our troops and have Iraqis take responsibility for the future of their country. Democrats will continue to work for a new direction in Iraq, engage in a diplomatic surge with regional and global partners, and refocus on the fight against al Qaeda.
Next week, the House will mark Tax Day with a bill to assist taxpayers by simplifying the tax code. Years of Republican control have made our tax code far more complex, making it more complicated and confusing for Americans trying to complete their taxes. House Democrats' Taxpayer Assistance and Simplification Act will improve the tax code to protect taxpayers, make filing taxes simpler, and increase outreach to taxpayers.
We will also take up the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act. As the credit crunch is felt across our economy, Democrats are committed to ensuring that students have the resources they need to continue their education. This legislation will provide new protections to assure families that they will continue to have uninterrupted access to federal college loans.