Press Release from the Office of Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN-5th)
Washington, D.C. — Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minneapolis) introduced a Congressional Resolution today expressing the sense of Congress to accept the Iraqi Government’s stated goal of setting a timetable for withdrawal of American troops, and calling on President Bush to honor his pledge to leave Iraq when the Iraqi government asked us to do so.
“Mr. President, you have long said we would stay in Iraq until the day the Iraqis asked us to leave. That day has come. Three days ago, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke before a gathering of Arab Ambassadors and called ‘either for the departure of (U.S.) forces or a memorandum of understanding to put a timetable on their withdrawal9,” Ellison stated.
The Iraqi Prime Minister further stated that any agreement regarding a United States military role in Iraq should be based on “respect for the full sovereignty of Iraq.”
Ellison’s resolution makes an unequivocal statement that the United States does not seek a long-term or permanent presence in Iraq would send a strong signal to the people of Iraq and the international community that the United States fully supports setting a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces from Iraq.
“Over four thousand of America’s best and brightest have given the ultimate sacrifice in Iraq in the last five years, and over 30,000 Americans have been gravely wounded. We have borrowed over $535 BILLION from our children’s future to finance this war – over $340 MILLION per day – enough to fund over 2 Million elementary school teachers each year, or provide over 40 MILLION Americans with health care for one year. It’s time to bring our brave troops home and start investing in America again,” Ellison said.
“While I do not agree with the Iraqi Prime Minister’s particular timetable, I am heartened that he too agrees with many of us in Congress that it is time for American troops to end U.S. military presence in Iraq on a timetable,” the 5th District Congressman stated.
“Mr. President, over four years ago, on April 13, 2004, you stated, ‘As a proud and independent people, Iraqis do not support an indefinite occupation, and neither does America.’ Mr. President, I couldn’t agree with you more and four years later is long overdue to fulfill that obligation.” Ellison concluded.
Congressman Ellison was joined by twenty five Members of Congress as original co-sponsors to his Resolution (H Res 1329).