Apr 26 2007

Shelby: Our Troops Deserve Better

U. S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today voted against the fiscal year 2007 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.  The Senate approved this legislation by a vote of 51 to 46 and the bill will now go to the President.

Senator Shelby’s Comments are below:

“Madame President, by passing this Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill, the Democratic controlled Senate has sent a message: The war is lost.  We have given up.  We have no hope of victory.” 

“Today, we have put an arbitrary deadline on our military.  It is unequivocally the wrong message – at exactly the wrong time.  We must give our armed forces the opportunity to win.  We cannot tie the hands of our commanders on the ground.  We cannot have 535 Generals micromanaging the war from the halls of Congress.  This war is a test of wills.”

“And our defeatist message states that today, our will has been broken.  This is not the message we want our enemy to hear.  Our actions in the United States Senate have consequences.  And we have just sent a message, the wrong message, that our efforts were not enough.  We have sent a message that the enemy has won.  A message of surrender.  A message of submission.  A message of failure.  And this message was not just sent to those fighting against us in Iraq.  It reverberates around the globe.

“Today, the United States Senate has illustrated raw partisan politics at its worst.  The American people deserve better.  Our troops deserve better.  Our armed forces need the support of the people who sent them into a war zone.  Not partisan politics.  They need the time to succeed.  Not a timetable for retreat.  As George Orwell once said, ‘The quickest way to end the war is to lose it.’”

“With today’s vote, we are well on our way.  Yet, fortunately for our troops, the President will veto this bill.  And Congress will have enough votes to sustain it.  In the coming weeks, when Congress crafts a new Supplemental, we must not use the same narrow-minded approach.  We must not send another message of defeat.”