Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ford Sets Record Straight On Gimmicky War Vote

In the Nashville City Paper, Congressman Harold Ford Jr. sets the record straight himself, on the war vote that took place last week:

Democratic Congressman and U.S. Senate candidate Harold Ford Jr. on Saturday defended his opposition to last week’s “gimmicky” Iraq War resolution, saying he voted against it because of the new Iraqi government’s consideration of offering “amnesty” to insurgents who’ve attacked U.S. troops.

The non-binding Iraq War resolution, which rejects a timetable for U.S. troop withdrawals, passed the U.S. House of Representatives Friday on a 256-153 vote and provides ammunition for attack ads in election year 2006.

Ford was one of the 153 opposing the resolution, which Ford said he voted against because Congress needed to have a “meaningful debate” on the war and because of the Iraqi government’s reported consideration of offering amnesty to insurgents who have attacked and killed U.S. troops.

“The gimmick was a bad gimmick because it calls for unqualified support for the Iraqi government and they want to provide amnesty to people who kill U.S. troops,” Ford said in an interview with The City Paper while campaigning in Williamson County Saturday.

“If you’re an insurgent, what’s the incentive to stop killing U.S. troops?” he asked. “You know that, ‘Look, if we can create enough uproar, we can get in this government here, and they are going to forgive us anyway for killing the U.S. troops.’ There’s no incentive.”

The state Republican Party, the National Republican Senatorial Committee and one of the Republican candidates in the Senate race, former Congressman Van Hilleary, all issued press releases attacking Ford for his vote, saying he was supporting “cutting and running” in Iraq, undermining the war on terror and voting against the troops.

The Republicans based their “cut and run” attacks on this clause in the resolution:

“It is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq.”

In response, Ford said he is not in favor of a deadline for withdrawal from Iraq. But he said he does advocate “a different strategy” and not just “staying the course.”

And to the Republican candidate who will almost assuredly use his vote in attack ads, Ford said, “If they want to defend staying the course, then I’m going to let them defend it.”

Once again, the Republicans have been proven to be liars.

They have said time after time after time that Ford wants to cut and run from Iraq, but Ford's voting record as well as his own words do not reflect that.

What Congressman Ford is for is a real debate on whatsucceedbe done in Iraq so we can succeede there.

Everytime the Democrats have called for a real debate on Iraq, the Republicans have turned to dirty tricks and gimmicks.

First they attacked John Murtha, now they are turning to all Democrats who are calling for new ideas aproceedrent strategies on how to proceede in Iraq.

Congressman Ford has already visited Iraq four times and has laid out very clearly what he success we should doing to achieve sucess there. (1, 2)

However, his opponents have done nothing of the same. Instead, they say nothing about the situation, only mentioning it in their attacks on Congressman Ford.

The American people are looking for new ideas and solutions in Iraq, not partisan attacks and more of the same.

Congressman Ford has made it clear he supports finding solutions that will make victory possible in Iraq.

Congressman Ford's new generation of leadership is needed to fix this problem.

168 Days

Days of Congressional Inaction on Ethics

Above is the number of days that have passed since Jack Abramoff pleaded guilty to bribing Congressman.

It is also the number of days in which Congress has failed to pass an ethics reform bill that would limit private travel, ski and golf junkets, and would call for a full disclosure of expenses by lobbyists on members of Congress.

It is time for Congress to step up and pass an ethics reform bill that would do all of the above. In addition, it is time to end the pork barrel spending system as we know it and establish an independent ethics commission that would review ethics complaints against members of Congress.

I am proud Congressman Harold Ford Jr. is fighting for that reform!

Read Congressman Ford's call for reform of the House rules here!