(Washington, D.C.) - Today, U.S. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash) offered a resolution on the Senate floor calling for Congress to fully support America's troops and veterans.
"We are going to give our troops everything they need, and we're not just going to be a rubber stamp for the President's war without end," Murray said. "Congress has a voice to push for a new direction, and we're going to use our power to help the brave men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the United States military."
Murray also spoke in favor of the Reid Resolution, which would begin to redeploy American troops.
Senator Murray's remarks follow:
Mr. President, America's troops deserve our nation's full support every step of the way from when they enlist, to when they train, to when they deploy, to when they return home. Tragically, the Bush Administration has failed our troops every step of the way. Today Democrats are saying enough is enough. We are going to give our troops everything they need, and we're not just going to be a rubber stamp for the President's war without end. I am proud to offer the Murray Resolution in support of our troops, and I'm pleased that our Majority Leader, Senator Reid, strongly supports my resolution.
We have been fighting to finally have a debate in the Senate for months. Now we have that debate and today we've got to do three things. We need to pass the Murray Resolution that supports our troops. We need to reject the Gregg Resolution that blindly follows the President, and we need to pass the Reid Resolution that sets a new direction in Iraq.
The Murray Resolution affirms that we will provide our troops with everything they need to be safe and to complete their missions. We'll provide everything they need in terms of training, equipment, logistics and funding, and we'll provide everything they need when they return home.
Now the Republicans have a different idea. The Gregg Resolution will tie the hands of Congress and would leave all the decisions to President Bush. Well, we all know how that turns out. If Congress surrenders its voice, our troops will get stuck with more of the same - more Americans being sent into the middle of a civil war and more veterans coming home without the care they need.
We don't need more of the same. We need a new direction. The Murray Resolution shows that we can have a new direction in Iraq, and we can give our troops all of the support they need.
So every Senator has a choice - either you just keep blindly following the President - or you say - we're going to stand up to our own responsibility to support our troops, and we're going to push for a new direction in Iraq.
The Gregg Resolution says we have to support the President. My resolution says we have to support our troops. The Gregg Resolution would make Congress a rubber stamp for a failed policy. My resolution says that Congress has a voice and must use that voice to help our troops.
I suggest to my colleagues that if you're happy with the war in Iraq - vote for the Gregg Resolution because it will keep us locked on the same path. If you're OK with returning troops waiting months in a crumbling military hold unit or waiting years for benefits, then vote for the Gregg Resolution and keep us locked on the same path.
But if you think our troops deserve better - vote for the Murray resolution. If you agree that our troops deserve equipment to keep them safe, vote for the Murray resolution. If you agree that our troops deserve the training that will help them succeed in their missions, vote for the Murray resolution. If you believe that our troops deserve better when they come home, vote for the Murray resolution. And if you believe that Congress needs to use its voice and its power to give our country a new direction in Iraq, vote for the Murray Resolution.
Our troops deserve better than what the Bush Administration has provided. This President sent our troops into battle without the life-saving armor and equipment they need. This President left our troops on the battlefield without a plan, without a clear mission, and without being honest about the costs of this war. And this President shortchanged healthcare and benefits for our returning service members - leaving brave Americans to languish in squalor at Walter Reed.
Haven't we had enough of this President's failures? Didn't Americans send us a clear message last Fall that enough is enough? It's time for a new direction.
My resolution recognizes that Congress has a role to play in supporting our troops. Congress has a voice to push for a new direction, and we're going to use our power to help the brave men and women who proudly wear the uniform of the United States military.
I would say to my colleagues that if you vote against my resolution, you don't really support our troops. Don't vote against our military and don't vote to tie our own hands. Use this opportunity to tell our troops that we are there for them and their families from the time they head off to battle though the rest of their lives - we are there for them, and most of all vote to change direction in Iraq.