Supplemental Deadlines Unacceptable, Blueprint for Disaster in Iraq

Mar 16, 2007, 01:00 ET from The American Legion

    WASHINGTON, March 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The National Commander
 of The American Legion Paul A. Morin voiced his organization's strong
 recommendation that Congress consider the President's FY 2007 Defense
 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations request, minus any additional
     Yesterday, the Appropriations Committee marked up and passed, as
 amended, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq
 Accountability Act. The funding requested in this bill is now some $23
 billion more than the President's initial Defense Emergency Supplemental
 Appropriations request.
     However, even more disturbing is the fact this proposed legislation
 contains specific provisions that attempt to direct the conduct of military
 operations in Iraq, a task The American Legion unalterably believes rests
 with the Commander-in-Chief and the military leadership.
     "This is an attempt to implement a congressional strategy by imposing
 timelines for the withdrawal of military personnel from combat zones
 through a "slow bleed" process by eventually reducing military funding,"
 Morin said. "Rather than the President's and General Petraus' reinforcement
 policy that is making progress in securing Baghdad."
     The American Legion is supportive of many of the other provisions
 contained in the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq
 Accountability Act, but we strongly believe the President's initial request
 is not the vehicle for these provisions, especially the specific language
 that sets congressional deadlines and mandatory troops movements. The other
 emergency funding recommendations to the FY 2007 budget should be openly
 addressed in a subsequent appropriations package in a timely manner.
     "The men and women of the armed forces in the theater of operation are
 dependent on this emergency funding to sustain and achieve their military
 missions," Morin explained. "Members of Congress should not be armchair
     Recognizing our history as a Nation, The American Legion supports the
 Commander in Chief, the commanders on the front lines, and the men and
 women serving in harms way. We entrust Congress to do the right thing in
 supporting our military men and women who are fighting to protect our
 values and way of life.
     "Thank God there was no mandated timetable after the Battle of the
 Bulge or Iwo Jima, Morin said. "Thank God, there was no mandated withdrawal
 or imposed exit strategy at Valley Forge or our Country would have lost the
 American Revolution."
     Absent the removal of the restrictive language designed to influence
 military operations, The American Legion calls on all Members to defeat the
 U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans' Health, and Iraq Accountability Act.
     Founded in 1919, the 2.7 million-member American Legion is the nation's
 preeminent service organization for veterans of the U.S. armed forces,
 including active duty, National Guard and Reserves, and their families. A
 powerful voice for veterans in Washington, The American Legion drafted the
 original GI Bill and was instrumental in establishing the agency that today
 is the Federal Department of Veterans Affairs.
     Media Contacts: Ramona Joyce, (202) 263-2982; Cell, 202-445-1161 or Joe
 March, (317) 630-1253; Cell 317-748-1926. This text and a high-resolution
 photo of Cmdr. Morin can be downloaded at

SOURCE The American Legion