WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 19, 2014) — The Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) introduced an amendment today to require that no funds in the Department of Defense FY2015 Appropriations bill go towards combat operations in Iraq.
The amendment was introduced by CPC Peace and Security Task Force Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA) and supported on the floor by CPC Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) and Reps. Rick Nolan (D-MN) and Janice Hahn (D-CA). The amendment failed on a 165—250 vote.
“We must not let history repeat itself in Iraq,” Rep. Lee said. “Because the reality is there is no military solution in Iraq. This is a sectarian war with long standing roots that were flamed when we invaded Iraq in 2003. Any lasting solution must be political and take into account respect for the entire Iraqi population.”
“Too many lives have already been lost in the quagmire that is Iraq,” Rep. Grijalva said. “There is no ‘part way’ when it comes to military involvement – what starts as a surefire military success in the eyes of politicians ends in prolonged conflict when reality sets in. We all want peace for the region, but it cannot be achieved through more American bloodshed.”
“Airstrikes and sending combat troops to Iraq is not the way forward,” Rep. Ellison said. “The current crisis threatens to push Iraq and the region into a wider sectarian war and can only be solved when Iraq’s minorities are given the political representation they deserve. The United States should exercise all the leverage we have with the Iraqi government and regional powers to press President Maliki into a more equitable power-sharing agreement.”
“We’ve given Iraq a chance. Now they need to stand on their own. U.S. military re-intervention would be a terrible mistake – exacerbating the conflict and drawing us back into a war that has already cost our nation trillions of dollars and thousands of precious lives,” Rep. Nolan said. “This is a 1,400-year-old conflict, and unless we are prepared to bankrupt ourselves spending another 1,400 years policing it, we need to stay out. It is the leaders and people of Iraq who must step forward now.”
“I strongly oppose any further U.S. military intervention in Iraq. It was misguided 11 years ago, and it would be misguided now. Let us not repeat history. Prime Minister Maliki has failed, and it is now time for the people of Iraq to determine the future of their nation, and lead Iraq forward without the involvement of the United States. I support providing support and safe passage for Americans at our embassy or in Iraq, but no more combat troops should be sent to Iraq. We have no place trying to solve a modern day civil war,” said Rep. Janice Hahn.