Statement on the $87 Billion for Iraq
October 16, 2003
NEW YORK—Democratic presidential candidate Governor Howard Dean, M.D., issued the following statement this morning:
“Just over a year ago, Congress gave President Bush a blank check to start a pre-emptive war without demanding answers to the tough questions. Many of us said that we should have never started this war.
“From Vermont I could see that the President did not make the case for war. There was no credible evidence that Iraq posed an imminent threat or had a nuclear program. With Congressional approval, the President rushed these troops to war and now he and the Congress are rushing to approve another blank check.
“Let me be clear, I strongly support our troops and hope, with all Americans, for their safe return home. And the responsible action for our troops is to demand that the President immediately submit a new plan for supporting our troops and rebuilding Iraq. The results of the last hastily-made Iraq policy decision are all too evident today. Congress owes it to our troops, the American people and the people in Iraq to make the right decision this time.
“I would oppose President Bush's latest request for a blank check unless the President submits a new plan that is paid for out of the tax cut. The new plan must give our troops what they need and bring them home safely, share this burden with other nations, ensure the stabilization and rebuilding of Iraq, and make sure that the billions of dollars we are spending are not wasted and used to pay off big corporations. Congress must demand that the President submit this new plan immediately.
“Too many in my party, like Senators Kerry, Edwards and Lieberman, and Congressman Gephardt allowed the President to get us into this misguided war. It is clear General Clark also supported the war at this time. The right choice would have been voting 'no' last fall; voting 'no' now cannot erase that poor decision. Trying to have it both ways demonstrates neither strong leadership nor good judgment.”