Statement of Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle in Response to President Bush's Speech on Iraq

July 7, 2008 - 7:29 PM

"The President deserves credit for candidly acknowledging that our presence in Iraq will cost far more than he originally projected and that success will ultimately demand a true international coalition. However, it is no longer enough to just say the right things. After nearly six months of conflict where America has provided 90% of the troops and picked up 90% of the costs, it is time that the international community and the Administration does more of the right things.

"For the President that means getting the international community to provide additional troops and resources for Iraq, as many urged him to do prior to the war. For the international community, it means recognizing Iraq is the world's problem and every country has a responsibility to help bring peace and stability.

"Let me be clear: while the President confirmed that stabilizing Iraq will be a long and costly commitment, I will work with the President to make sure we succeed in Iraq; the stakes for our troops and our national security are too great for us to fail. At the same time we must be certain we have done everything we can to make America less vulnerable to terrorist attack and ensure that all our troops and their families have access to health care through TRICARE and are adequately compensated for their service and sacrifice.

"Last night, the President asked for $87 billion more for Iraq and Afghanistan. The President and Congress must now work together to provide the resources needed to both prevail in these troubled areas and to meet pressing needs at home where millions of workers have lost their jobs in the past two years, millions of Americans lack health
insurance or can barely afford it, and millions of children in overcrowded and inadequate classrooms were promised change but haven't seen it."