Wes Hickman (202) 224-5972 or Kevin Bishop (864) 250-1417
-- U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-South Carolina) made this statement on the House passage today of a resolution criticizing President Bush's decision to send more troops to Iraq. The Senate is scheduled to take up the resolution this weekend.
"Contrary to what Democratic leaders may publicly say, they are laying the groundwork to cut off funding for our troops in Iraq. The Iraq resolution is the first step in a policy of retreat which I believe will come back to haunt us for decades in the War on Terror.
"Our enemies have repeatedly said they view Iraq as the central battlefront in the War on Terror. So should we. The House of Representatives' actions will embolden our enemies and put our troops in additional jeopardy.
"An overwhelming majority of Democrats in Congress appear to have given up on the idea of winning in Iraq. The resolution is a blunt admission they are willing to accept the status quo -- which is unacceptable -- and undermine chances of future success.
"Because of today's vote, the Senate should immediately take up this matter. We need a full debate and recorded votes on differing ideas and resolutions.
"Majority Leader Reid has and will continue to stifle debate and limit the Senate to a single option which is a precursor to retreat. Senator Reid knows an overwhelming majority of Senators will vote for the Gregg resolution which states that cutting off funding will undermine our troops and the war effort. It has broad, bipartisan support.
"Several weeks ago Senator Reid made the statement that the GOP can run, but not hide from this debate. I'm standing firm in the light of day. I welcome this debate and believe the reason we are not voting on all of the Iraq resolutions is because of a fear of left-wing anti-war activists attacking the 2008 Democratic presidential hopefuls. It is a sad day when special interests take over the debate in the Senate.
"The Senate is not the House of Representatives and I believe the Republican Senate will be united around insisting on multiple votes reflecting a wide range of opinions on Iraq."