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WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this afternoon after the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report concluding that violence in Iraq “remains high” and that Iraq has failed to meet 15 of the 18 military, economic and political benchmarks set by Congress and agreed on by President Bush:
“This new report on Iraq by the independent GAO is yet another objective assessment of the Iraqi government’s failure to step up and take responsibility for Iraq’s future, and it confirms what the large majority of Americans already know: The President’s stay-the-course policy in Iraq is not working.
“While the President argues that the American troop escalation has improved the security situation in Iraq, GAO’s independent auditors found that ‘violence remains high.’ Furthermore, the GAO found that Iraq has failed to meet 11 of 18 security, economic and political objectives, and shown partial success on four benchmarks. This outcome is simply unacceptable after four and one-half years at war, the loss of more than 3,800 brave American soldiers and injuries to thousands of others, and the expenditure of more than $400 billion by American taxpayers.
“The GAO’s unbiased report is further evidence that the United States must make a strategic redeployment and refocus our efforts on combating global terrorism.”