This is a download of a 3.45 minute response from Senator Jack Reed to the President’s recent speech on the Iraq War Spending Bill.
What Reed seems to be emphasizing is the need for more economic, diplomatic, and political work in Iraq and less military presence in Iraq. Also of importance on this issue is Sen. Harry Reid’s “Fact Check: President Bush on Iraq Funding”:
FACT CHECK: President Bush on Iraq Funding
Today, President Bush made clear that he is willing to hold up funding for the troops in order to pursue his stay the course policy in Iraq. Senate Democrats are working to provide our troops with the funds they need and the strategy for success they deserve.
President Bush suggested a funding crisis is imminent. â€œIn the coming days, our military leaders will notify Congress that they will be forced to transfer $1.6 billion from other military accounts to cover the shortfall caused by Congress’ failure to fund our troops in the field. That means our military will have to take money from personnel accounts so they can continue to fund U.S. Army operations in Iraq and elsewhere.â€? (Remarks, 4/10/07)
FACT: President Bush is manufacturing a funding crisis — the Congressional Research Service shows that the Army can fund the war through July. â€œBased on Army data and estimate, the Army could finance its O&M expenses through the end of May by tapping the $52.6 billion in O&M funding already provided by congress in the FY2007 DOD Appropriations Act (P.L. 109-289) and the Continuing Resolution (P.L. 110-5/H.J. Res. 20)â€¦Although it is true that a delay in passage of the FY2007 supplemental could require additional management actions, Congress has given DOD flexibility by providing transfer authority so that funds can be moved to meet more urgent requirements. In this case, because the transfers would presumably be temporary, the disruptions might also be less onerous.â€? (Congressional Research Service Memo, 3/28/07)
FACT: Just this week, the Army briefed Congressional staff that funding is available into the summer. [full text]