Last week, I sent out a survey to enhance my awareness of what people in the First District of Colorado thought about the war in Iraq.? The response I received was incredible.? Thousands of people shared with me their thoughts, feelings, and deepest beliefs.? You were among them, and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for your comments.
On Friday, March 23rd, The U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1591, the U.S.* Troop Readiness, Veterans? Health and Iraq Accountability Act*.? As you may already be aware, this critical legislation is designed to fully fund our troops ? including health care for returning veterans ? and finally set a timeline for a full military withdrawal from Iraq.
This legislation will spur the government of Iraq to take the lead in addressing the challenges of the Iraqi people.? It establishes benchmarks for the Iraqi government.? Failure to meet these benchmarks would result in accelerating the withdrawal of U.S. forces.? I voted for this legislation because it is a good-faith compromise that ensures the safety of our troops while definitively changing our course in Iraq.? I believe that this plan is the beginning of a strategy by which we can finally bring a responsible end to this irresponsible war.
Though H.R. 1591 did not address the issue, I strongly agree with the overwhelming majority of you who believe that President Bush must obtain congressional approval for any military action in Iran.? If the President tries to circumvent the constitution in this matter, I will fight to ensure that such action will not occur.
Thank you for participating in this critical debate.? Your input is truly important.? It was very helpful as I studied this issue, and made my decision.? I look forward to our continued communication.