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Jul 02, 2006

Bob Ney Refuses to Ask Tough Questions as House Debates Iraq

DCCC Press

Jul 2, 2006

Bob Ney Refuses to Ask Tough Questions as House Debates Iraq

“For what Iraq has cost, the one casualty the American people would have gladly stomached in this war is partisanship. To the Ohio families with loved ones overseas, one day of congressional debate is a horrible substitute for the accountability from the White House the American people deserve,” said Bill Burton, communications director of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “If Bob Ney and his Republican colleagues in Washington were as committed to catching Osama bin Laden as they are to idiotic political rhetoric, maybe we’d actually be making progress in bringing our troops home. It’s time for new priorities in Iraq.”

Bob Ney Refuses to Ask Tough Questions as House Debates Iraq

After Years of War and No Strategy for Success, Congress Debates Iraq but Chooses Partisan Rhetoric and Empty Words over Real Questions and Real Answers

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, on the floor of the House of Representatives, Bob Ney joined his colleagues in Congress and debated a resolution without action about the Iraq war. Instead of tackling the tough issues, Bob Ney and the Republican Congress has avoided asking questions. Ney voted against setting benchmarks for success in Iraq and missed votes to account for billions of taxpayer dollars spent in Iraq, to increase money for military personnel and to stop awarding no-bid contracts to Halliburton. After three years gone by, 2,500 American lives lost, 18,000 wounded and $480 billion spent, we are still not any closer to an answer on the following questions:

1. What happened to the $9 billion that disappeared in Iraq?
2. Why did Congress rubberstamp $7 billion in no-bid contracts for Halliburton?
3. There are more terrorists in Iraq today than before we entered the war, and yet the Republican Congress contends that the ongoing struggle has made our country safer. How is this possible?
4. We were told that this would be a short war, it has turned into a long war with no end in sight. We were told it would be a conventional war but we are fighting an insurgency. Donald Rumsfeld said it would be 10/30/30 – ten days of fighting, 30 days of occupation, and 30 days of departure. What happened?
5. Why have we still have not found Osama bin Laden—and why has the administration lost focus on this important task?

The Republican Record

Bob Ney Voted Against Accounting For Billions Of Taxpayer Dollars Spent On Iraq. The vote was against an amendment to provide $5 million to establish a select committee to investigate reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, including contracting procedures, protection against money laundering, and the allocation of contracts to foreign companies and small businesses. In October 2004, the International Advisory and Monitoring Board released an audit of the Bush Administration’s management of Iraqi oil proceeds and other funds in the Development Fund for Iraq. Problems found involved hundreds of millions of dollars, numerous sole source contracts and missing and nonexistent contract files. The amendment was rejected, 191-236. [Committee on Government Reform Minority Staff, http://www.democrats.reform.house.gov/; Vote #72; H.R.1268; 03/15/2005; amendment failed 191-236]

Bob Ney Opposed Setting Benchmarks for Success in Iraq0. The vote was against an effort to require President Bush to submit a plan for success in Iraq, supply the military with adequate equipment and other resources to complete their mission, and provide veterans with adequate health care services. The proposal was debated during consideration of the State Department authorization bill. Had the plan passed, it would have required the president to outline benchmarks for success in Iraq – including the adoption of a constitution, free and fair elections, and a plan for economic development – that could be used to determine when Iraq is sufficiently stable to allow for the return home of American soldiers. The motion also noted that the lack of a clear strategy for success in Iraq could undermine the morale of U.S. troops. The proposal was rejected, 203-227. [Rep. Menendez Press Release, 7/20/05; Vote #398; H.R.2601; 07/20/2005; motion failed 203-227]

Bob Ney Voted To Continue Awarding Contracts to Halliburton. The vote was against an amendment that would prohibit the awarding of a contract by the secretary of the Army to any contractor if the Defense Contract Audit Agency has determined that more than $100 million of a contractor's costs involving work in Iraq were unreasonable. Currently, the only company that this could potentially apply to is Halliburton. [Vote #60; H.R.4939; 03/16/2006; amendment failed 193-225]

Bob Ney Opposed $100 Million Increase for Military Personnel. The vote was against a proposal to the budget to increase funding for military health care by $100 million and transitional job training for military personnel by $50 million. The proposed increase failed, 200-229. [Vote #76; H.R.1268; 03/16/2005; motion failed 200-229]

A Tide Turning in Iraq?

54% of Iraqi households lack access to clean water, 85% of households lack reliable electricity. [CRS Report RL 31833, Page 14]

$9 billion in reconstruction funds have been unaccounted for, and as of the end of April, almost $2 billion in appropriated funds remain unobligated, largely due to a lack of security. [CRS Report RL 31833, Page 15]

One in four Iraqi children suffers from chronic malnutrition, as poor security and poverty take their toll on the youngest generation. [L.A. Times, 6/14/06]

Oil production is at 2.2 million barrels per day. Prior to the war, oil production was 2.6 million barrels per day. [CRS Report RL 31833, CRS Report RL31339, and DOD Report Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq, May 2006]

There have been close to 4,000 casualties due to sectarian violence from February 2006 to April 06, almost the same number of casualties suffered between February 2004 and January 2006. [DoD’s Quarterly Report on Iraq, Page 40]

American troops: 2,472 fatalities, 18,194 troops wounded in action. [CRS Report RS21578, Page 1]

Estimated Iraqi Casualties: 8,643 civilian deaths between March 2005 and April 2006. 3,269 police and security force deaths between January 2005 and April 2006. [CRS Report RS22441, Page 4 and http://icasualties.org/oif]


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