Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley, a Democrat from Waterloo, says he will likely vote for the latest war spending bill worked out by a joint committee of the House and Senate. Braley says based upon his review of the language, he is inclined to support the measure.
Braley says, "It has a clear exit strategy for the war in Iraq, which is something I’ve been demanding for a very long time, it establishes a timetable for redeploying our troops." Braley says the bill also includes tough benchmarks for the Iraqis to take control of their country, vital support for the troops and "accountability over the Bush administration."
Braley is a first-term Democrat, and his comments on the bill echo exactly what Democrat leaders are saying: "I believe that this conference committee report that we will be voting on reflects the will of the American, provides a new direction in Iraq that has been demanded by the American people. And I think that if the president follows through on his threat to veto this bill, he’s denying billions of dollars in funding for our troops and our veterans and the American people will ultimately hold him accountable for that."
U.S. Senator Harry Reid, the Democrat majority leader, says the war in Iraq is lost. Braley says he doesn’t agree. "No, no I don’t," Braley says, "I believe that we have many men and women who are performing their duty to the best of their abilities. They have not been receiving the support they need from this administration. They have not been given a clear exit strategy, which they have needed in order to understand what their mission is."
Braley says the funding legislation gives the soldiers the direction they need. Braley says, "We as a Congress are providing finally the oversight that is necessary to get them the support to establish a timetable for withdrawal. That’s where I stand." Braley represents the first district covering 12 counties in northeast Iowa.