View Full Version : Pelosi Will Back Murtha Iraq Pullout Resolution

11-30-2005, 04:17 PM
Pelosi will back Murtha Iraq pullout resolution



House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Wednesday endorsed Rep. John Murtha’s (D-CA) recent call to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq as soon as possible, ROLL CALL reports Wednesday. Excerpts.

Pelosi, at a press conference with reporters, said Murtha — her closest confidant on defense matters — has “changed the debate” in the country on the war, has won her support and will win the backing of the “majority of House Democrats.” Murtha, a former Marine who initially supported the war, announced two weeks ago that he no longer supported the conflict in Iraq and called for a rapid withdrawal of American troops from the region.

“He knows of what he speaks,” Pelosi said of Murtha. “I believe the plan he has put forth makes America safer, our military stronger and Iraq more secure.”

Pelosi added that the Bush administration has “used poor judgment” and has yet to lay out a clear course to conclude U.S. involvement in Iraq. “There is a better way to do it,” the Minority Leader said ... and at the very least the nation should “have a debate on the subject.”

Pelosi’s move comes just a week before the House Democrats are scheduled to meet privately to discuss the war, and decide whether they should unify around one policy and message on the topic. Pelosi said Wednesday that while she has made her own position clear, she does not believe the Democrats should vote to take a stand on Iraq, nor will she encourage Members to follow her lead and endorse Murtha.

Pelosi held a news conference today in response to President Bush's Iraq speech and issued this statement (as prepared):

"What we heard today was a commitment to the status quo - a status quo that is not working.

"The 'Plan for Victory' backdrop against which the President appeared at the Naval Academy today was no more accurate than the 'Mission Accomplished' backdrop he used over two and a half years ago on the USS Abraham Lincoln.

"The President did not have a plan for victory when he went into his war of choice in Iraq, and he did not have a plan for victory today.

"The American people expected that the President would do more today than just put a new cover and 35 pages of rhetoric on old sound bites. What the American people wanted from the President today was some evidence that he has heard their concerns.

"Clearly, the President fails to understand that a new course is needed in Iraq. The President has dug us into a deep hole in Iraq; it is time for him to stop digging.

"He offered a status quo plan that would not accelerate the training of Iraqi security forces, would not motivate Iraqis to assume security responsibilities more quickly and bring American troops home.

"Instead, he suggested that we send more troops and spend more money in Iraq. That is not what the American people want.

"The President says that the security situation in Iraq is getting better. But just because the President says it, does not make it so.

"226 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq in just the last three months. The Generals have told us that the presence of large numbers of U.S. forces in Iraq encourages the insurgents. The President provided no specifics on how, or when, the number of troops will be reduced.

"With more than 2,100 American soldiers killed, thousands more wounded grievously, and hundreds of billions of dollars spent, the President owes the American people more than he provided today.

"We should follow the lead of Congressman John Murtha, who has put forth a plan to make America safer, to make our military stronger, and to make Iraq more stable. That is what the American people and our troops deserve."