When Obama committed US assets for use against ISIS the Congress went batcrap crazy saying that it was NOT his place to authorize military force without involving Congress…it was unconstitutional (there is that word again) ……….Obama decide to do the right thing so he sent the Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to the Congress in January of this year and so far the cowards have refused to act on the request…..it being an election coming up and they do not want to crap on their chances……..one brave Congressman, Rep. McGovern, has decides that the Congress needs to act on the request and is shaming the cowards into action (trying to at least)…….this is his speech before the Congress….
Mr. Speaker, President Obama needs to turn this interminable conflict over to the Afghans. As of yesterday, 2,153 members of our Armed Forces have died in Afghanistan since 2001; another 19,526 have been wounded; and every Member of this Chamber knows that tens of thousands of our troops have returned home with invisible wounds to their minds and spirits. Suicide rates among our veterans are among the highest ever, and they continue to climb. For many, the care required to help heal these wounds will last a lifetime.
It is estimated that health care and veteran benefits for the men and women deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost trillions of dollars. In both human and fiscal terms, we simply cannot afford to waste more lives and dollars in Afghanistan.
The President has not made a case about how any number of troops remaining in Afghanistan after 2014 can improve the confidence of Afghan forces when our current greater and more intensive engagement over the past decade has not been able to do so. It is completely unclear whether the April elections will improve the Afghan Government, given its ingrown corruption, sectarian divisions, and Taliban insurgency. There are no compelling reasons to remain.
We need to turn Afghanistan over to the Afghans now, not 10 years from now. We need to bring our troops home by no later than the end of 2014, just as President Obama promised. If this is the so-called “zero option,” then it is the best option. We do not need to keep another 10,000 to 12,000 American troops in Afghanistan for another 10 years at the cost of about $80 billion or more each year. They will continue to be in harm’s way; they will continue to be carrying out dangerous operations; they will continue to be wounded body and soul; and they will continue to be killed.
For what? So one of the most corrupt governments in the world can continue living off of our blood and treasure? So military contractors can continue lining their pockets? We are cutting programs right and left in the budget, but we are supposed to keep pouring tens of billions of dollars into Afghanistan for another decade? All of it is borrowed money charged to our national credit card. I say enough is enough.
In June, 305 Members of this House voted in support of an amendment that I offered along with Congressmen Walter Jones and Adam Smith to bring our troops home by the end of 2014 and to accelerate that process if possible. It clearly stated that if the President determined to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, then Congress should vote on authorizing that mission. Senators Merkley and Lee were ready to offer a similar amendment in the Senate when the defense bill was to be taken up over there. They had more than a dozen bipartisan cosponsors on their amendment.
Instead, the FY14 NDAA went into conference negotiations without debate by the full Senate. In those negotiations, the principal Senate conferees demanded that the House amendment be completely watered down. The conference language only requires the President to “consult” with Congress about any post-2014 deployment of troops. That is worthless. It is absolutely worthless, Mr. Speaker. We don’t need consultation. What we need is a vote. I call on Speaker Boehner and Leader Pelosi to take seriously the call of 305 Members of this House and schedule a vote next year on keeping thousands of U.S. troops in Afghanistan. Whether or not you support such a decision, the House needs to vote on it.
It is time for us in Congress to do our job. It is time we stop asking our troops and their families to sacrifice their lives in a war that has outlived its purpose. It is time to bring our troops home. It is time to get out of Afghanistan.
Now read his bill linked below and if you like it lets help him shame the elected cowards in the Congress to do the right thing…..what say you?
Text – H.Con.Res.105 – 113th Congress (2013-2014): Prohibiting the President from deploying or maintaining United States Armed Forces in a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific, subsequent statutory authorization. | Congress.gov | Library of Congress.