First District Iowa Congressman Bruce Braley spoke with reporters today in prepartation for his remarks on the House floor in support of the resolution against the proposed troop surge in Iraq. Braley, a democrat from Waterloo, says he knows that some people thing the resolution doesn’t go far enough.
Braley says he thinks it’s a very important first step to let every member of Congress speak about where they stand on the issue. Braley says it also sends a clear message to the White House "that the frustration of the American people was reflected not only in the vote on November 7th, but also in the voices that’re echoing throughout the halls of Congress."
Braley says this resolution is only the start of a move to pull out of Iraq. Braley says this resolution is only the first in a series over very important steps "to develop a comprehensive strategy to place pressure on the president to change his failed strategy in Iraq." Braley says he’s confident there will be many more things that will happen. Former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, a democrat presidential candidate, has called for an immediate withdrawal of the funding for the troops. Braley says the funding issue is something that is talked about as a next step to get the president to comply with the results of the resolution to block the troop surge.
Braley says noone wants to do anything to jeopardize the safety of the troops, but this resolution makes it clear that the president’s proposed escalation of troops "is strongly opposed by the very body that has the authorization to declare war, and the very body that gave him the authorization to commit forces to Iraq." Braley says he wants to see how the funding bill for Iraq shakes out before he makes a final decision on it.
Braley says he wants to be sure the funding has accountability components in it. Braley says members of Congress are concerned about the failure of the Iraqi government to invest 12 billion dollars in funds and he says "there will not be a continued blank check." Braley is in his first term. Each member of the House is getting five minutes to make comments on the Iraq Resolution.