Saturday, June 17, 2006

NRSC Misleads About Ford's Vote Against Amnesty For Terrorists

Today, Republicans pushed through a resolution praising Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki despite the fact that his government continues to consider granting amnesty to terrorists that have attacked and killed U.S. troops. Though Harold Ford supported other elements of the resolution, as his long and consistent record demonstrates, he could not vote for any legislation that might encourage such a heinous and unforgivable policy towards our troops. Unsurprisingly, the NRSC is distorting this vote for political gain, just as they planned to from the start. Even GOP Rep. Wayne Gilchrest admits that Republicans are focused on politics, not our troops in Iraq.

Gilchrest: GOP Focused On Politics. GOP Rep. and Vietnam Veteran Wayne T. Gilchrest criticized the administration and GOP leadership for their relentless focus on politics. “To me, the administration does not act like there's a war going on,” Gilchrest said. “The Congress certainly doesn't act like there's a war going on. If you're raising money to keep the majority … if you're doing all this other peripheral stuff, what does that say to the guy who's about ready to drive over a land mine?” [Washington Post, 6/15/06]

Ford Refused To Endorse Iraqi Leader Who Is Considering Amnesty For Terrorists That Have Killed US Troops

Iraqis Refuse To Denounce Amnesty Plan For Insurgents Who Attacked U.S. Troops. The Iraqi official who first leaked the potential Iraqi amnesty plan stuck by his account today, insisting that Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki continued to consider giving amnesty to insurgents who attacked U.S. troops. Adnan Kadhimi said, “The prime minister himself has said that he is ready to give amnesty to the so-called resistance, provided they have not been involved in killing Iraqis.” A second Iraqi official confirmed this account, saying Maliki had been “clear, saying those whose hands weren't stained with Iraqi blood” may be eligible for any amnesty. Maliki’s office issued a statement claiming Kadhimi was not a spokesman for the Maliki government, but it did not rule out providing amnesty for the insurgents who attacked U.S. forces. [Washington Post, 6/16/06]

Ford Opposed Praising Government That Might Give Amnesty To Terrorists Who Have Killed US Soldiers. The resolution passed by the House today praised Maliki despite the fact that he has yet to rule out amnesty for terrorists who have killed American soldiers. The bill resolved to “congratulate Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki.” [H. Res. 861, 6/16/06]

Ford Position Is Clear: Against Premature Withdrawal

Ford Repeatedly Broke Ranks To Oppose Premature Withdrawal. Harold Ford has repeatedly broken ranks with most Democrats and voted against prematurely withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq. Last year he supported a GOP amendment that stated “it is U.S. policy to NOT withdrawal U.S. forces prematurely from Iraq.” Most Democrats opposed it. Also last year, Ford voted against a Democratic amendment to express the sense of Congress that “the president should develop a plan for withdrawing U.S. military forces.” Once again, Ford broke with most Democrats. [CQ Vote 397, 7/20/05; CQ Vote 220, 5/25/05; Emphasis Added]

Ford Has Consistently Voiced Opposition To Premature Withdrawal. Ford has made his position on withdrawal crystal clear, something he reiterated in an appearance on Don Imus’ radio program today. His comments:

“The war is there now and we have to finish it regardless of where you started with this thing. Regardless of your thoughts about President Bush and Don Rumsfeld, I mean this is now much bigger. If we leave and I know there are some that are urging this. If we leave today the real winner would be the Iranians, the real winner would be Hamas.” [“Imus In The Morning,” MSNBC, 6/16/06]

“Democrats and Republicans, our message has to be to the president, don't withdraw prematurely.” [“Hardball,” MSNBC, 1/12/06]

“I hope we don’t withdrawal prematurely. It would be bad for us in the short and long term.” [CNBC News Transcripts, 1/12/06]

“I happen to think we need a different policy in Iraq, not to cut and run.” [“Crossfire,” CNN, 3/11/04]

Ford Has Consistently Supported Troops, War On Terror

Ford Is Consistent Supporter Of War On Terror, Troops Fighting It. Congressman Ford has supported over $5 trillion in funding for the Defense, Homeland Security, and intelligence agencies since 9/11 and introduced legislation to improve our efforts in the war on terror. He has supported every funding and appropriations bill requested by this Administration to fund the War on Terror. [H.R. 1559, 4/3/2003; H.R. 3289, 10/31/2003; H.R. 5122 05/11/06; H.R. 2863, 6/20/2005, Passed 398-19; H.R. 4613, 6/22/2004; H.R. 2360, 10/6/2005; H.R. 3673, 09/08/2005; H.R. 1815, 05/25/2005; H.R. 1817, 05/18/2005; H.R. 2360, 5/17/2005; H.R. 1268, 5/5/2005; H.R. 1268, 03/16/2005; H.R. 4567, 10/9/2004; H.R. 4200, 10/09/2004; H.R. 4567; H.R. 1588, 11/07/2003; H.R. 2658, 9/24/2003; H.R. 2555, 9/24/2003; H.R. 2555, 9/10/2003; H.R. 2555, 6/24/2003; H.R. 5010, 10/10/2002; H.R. 4547, 07/24/02; H.R. 4775, 7/23/2002, Passed 397-32; H.R. 1383, introduced 3/17/2005]

NRSC Deliberately Distorted Quote

NRSC Distorted Ford Quote; Ford Reiterated Need To Win. The NRSC’s release distorted a Ford quote by removing important context. The release said, “MSNBC's Don Imus: ‘Knowing what you know now, would you still have voted for this war?’ Ford: ‘No.’” But the NRSC conveniently excluded the rest of Ford’s quote: “No. It's one of those questions that I try not to dwell on because we passed that point and we now have to figure out how we win. Saying no, I would not have been less determined to find Osama Bin Laden and destroy Al Qaeda and if the world community had been with us and we had built a coalition like the President promised he was going to before going to war in Iraq, I think we would have eventually given him the authority to do it.” [“Hardball,” MSNBC, 11/2/05]

Related: Why Does Corker, Hilleary, and Bryant support amnesty for those who kill our troops?

164 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!