We Need To Bring Amendments, Not Just Words

Over the last year, we have seen unspeakable horrors in Iraq. Indiscriminate suicide bombings have been creating havoc in the streets and, despite the political successes of three elections, Iraq has been pushed to the brink of civil war, or perhaps by now over the brink.

Through the midst of all this carnage, and the deaths of over 2600 Americans and the injuries of tens of thousands more since March of 2003, our men and women in uniform have been doing their utmost, sometimes without the necessary troop strength or adequate equipment, to make the international effort in Iraq a success.

The House Republican leadership has made a decision that we need a thorough debate about the conflict in Iraq and its conduct, about the nature of that conflict, and about the role of our troops in that conflict. Having made that decision, I think it is no longer enough to allow every member to make a speech on the House floor. And the debate should provide enough time so that every member has at least five minutes to express their views on Iraq.

It is time to let members bring their ideas to the floor in the form of amendments and work the will of our House. Anything short of that makes a mockery of the Republican leader’s expressed goal to produce a full and real debate on the issue of the U.S. involvement in Iraq. And it would dishonor our men and women in uniform who are struggling to protect and uphold democratic principles abroad.