Mar 27 2007

Shelby Statement on Emergency Supplemental Bill

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) today cosponsored Senator Cochran’s amendment to strike language requiring the withdrawal of U.S. armed forces from Iraq which was included in the fiscal year 2007 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations bill.  The amendment would have removed a provision that requires the phased withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq beginning in 120 days.  The amendment failed in the Senate by a vote of 48-50. 

Senator Shelby’s comments:

I do not support setting an arbitrary timeline for the withdrawal of our servicemembers from Iraq.  Congress should not micromanage the war by limiting the flexibility of our commanders and servicemembers in combat.  We need to give our armed forces the opportunity to succeed in Iraq by ensuring that our troops know that they have our full support, both morally and materially, to carry out their mission.

I am disappointed that this language remains in the bill because it sends an ambiguous message to the troops.  The President has stated that he will veto a Supplemental that includes withdrawal language.  By not adopting this amendment, we will further delay much needed funding for our military.  However, I am confident that ultimately support for our servicemembers will prevail.