WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today regarding President Bush’s comments at the White House:
“It’s long past time that President Bush and his allies in Congress stop obstructing the $50 billion appropriations bill for Iraq and Afghanistan passed by the House. This reasonable, responsible legislation provides our troops in the field with the resources they need, while denying the President the blank check that he so obviously desires and which is opposed by the American people.
“The President should stop using scare tactics regarding military furloughs since independent observers agree that the Defense Department – which just received a $459 billion appropriation from Congress – has the funding it needs to support our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan through mid-February.
“This legislation has even won the support of retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez, who commanded coalition forces in Iraq in 2003 and 2004. Yet, again today, the President mischaracterized the House-passed legislation, which would require the Commander in Chief to begin to redeploy our troops in Iraq within 30 days of enactment with a goal of complete redeployment by Dec. 15, 2008. Furthermore, our bill would prohibit torture and require all U.S. forces to be fully trained and equipped.
“During the next few weeks, Congress intends to consider critical legislation on issues such as energy, appropriations and taxes. This will cap a very productive year, during which this new direction Democratic Congress has enacted the recommendations of the 911 Commission, the first increase in the federal minimum wage in a decade, the largest expansion of college aid since the GI bill, sweeping ethics and lobbying reforms, and an Innovation Agenda designed to increase our economic competitiveness.
“And, after President Bush and his Republican allies in Congress instigated record budget deficits and debt, this Congress has restored fiscal discipline. For the President to now claim that he is an exemplar of fiscal responsibility is simply contrary to the facts.”