May 22 Deadline For Iraq and US Troops

So what do we do now in Iraq? We want democracy in Iraq, but Iraqis must want it as much as we do. Our valiant soldiers can’t bring democracy to Iraq if Iraq’s leaders are unwilling themselves to make the compromises that democracy requires.

As our generals have said, the war cannot be won militarily. It must be won politically. No American soldier should be sacrificed because Iraqi politicians refuse to resolve their ethnic and political differences.


Now is the Time

Over the weekend, there has been real movement toward a peace agreement to end the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan. While the government indicated it would accept the agreement, the rebels believe there are issues that still need to be resolved. The key though is there is a real sense of urgency in international community to capitalize on the momentum that the African Union's proposal has brought on. That's why I was glad to see the administration dispatch Deputy Secretary of State Robert Zoellick to Africa today to help get over the final hurdles to a peace agreement that will hopefully end political and ethnic conflict in the Darfur.

We cannot allow the atrocities there to continue, nor let the conditions get worse. Amid the breakdown, things have already started to worsen if you can believe that is possible. Because of funding issues, the UN World Food Program said Friday that it was cutting rations in half for the Darfur region, a region where the population is severely undernurished to start with. We must take advantage of this window while it is open, so we can begin to bring peace and stability back to Darfur.

"Mission Impossible" in Iraq

Three years ago yesterday, President Bush declared Mission Accomplished in Iraq. Because of the Administration's miscalculations and failures, the War in Iraq can be better described as Mission Impossible.

Many experts believe Iraq is on the brink of a civil war, and some believe one has already begun. Thousands of our troops have died, and American taxpayers are spending $11 million an hour to pay for the mission. Elections have not ushered in stability, and instead, the top commander in Iraq last week predicted that insurgent attacks would rise in the coming weeks. According to the State Department, about half of the worldwide terrorist attacks last year were in Iraq. Iran has been strengthened by the dissolution of its arch rival.


House Republicans Ignore 46 Million Uninsured

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) accused House Republicans of ignoring the issue of increasing numbers of uninsured Americans.
It is more than a little ironic that President Bush’s remarks on health care today come on the same day that marks the beginning of ‘Cover the Uninsured Week.’ The fact is, there are 46 million uninsured Americans today, an increase of 6 million over the last five years. The President’s continued insistence on Health Savings Accounts as a remedy for America’s health care crisis shows that Republicans have no plan to help the uninsured. But at least President Bush is raising the issue; House Republicans are ignoring it. 


English Only Bill Hits Senate Floor

Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced a bill that calls for the national anthem to be sung solely in English, in response to a Spanish-language version of the national anthem that was released on Friday.
We wouldn’t recite the Pledge in French, or German, or Russian, or Hindi, or even Chinese (which, after Spanish, is the second most spoken foreign language in the United States). And we shouldn’t sing the national anthem in Spanish, or any other foreign language.


"Mission Accomplished" a Metaphor for Dangerous Incompetence

Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), today on the Senate floor, condemned the administration on the three year anniversary of President Bush's declaration of the end of major combat operations in Iraq.
The image of President Bush standing in front of the "Mission Accomplished" banner has been etched into the minds of the American people as a metaphor for the Bush White House’s misleading and dangerous incompetence. It shows a self-described "war President" not ready for the war, or the difficult problems of securing the peace—problems the president and his Secretary of Defense simply ignored or did not understand following the invasion of Iraq.

Rally of Thousands Shows Need For Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Greetings from Chicago, where we are expecting more than 300,000 men and women to march in support of comprehensive immigration reform this afternoon. I just had the opportunity to address the audience before we begin marching. As I stood on the stage looking out at the sea of people, with its ranks swelled strong with activists and advocates, students and storekeepers, artists and educators - one could not help but be filled with pride. Because what is so impressive, and so special, about this event is that it is not just a Latino event; it is thousands upon thousands of other immigrants -- Irish and Asian and Polish -- who are standing shoulder to shoulder with us in support of equity and equality for all immigrants.


Port Security Bill is Bi-Partisan Approach to Homeland Security

"The SAFE Port" Act is the rarest type of legislation.  A bipartisan bill introduced to make a law, rather than a political statement.  The unanimous approval of this bill by the subcommittee and the full House Homeland Security Committee was a result of that bipartisan cooperation and the extensive effort that was made to incorporate ideas and suggestions from both sides of the aisle

I am pleased the Homeland Security Committee and the Congress have adopted a sense of urgency with regard to this important legislation.  Comprehensive legislation that addresses the vulnerabilities of our sea ports is long overdue.  The SAFE Port Act is that legislation.  National port security has become a very hot topic in recent months, but Congresswoman Jane Harman and I have been working on this legislation since last year. 

Extending our borders out and strategically focusing our resources, SAFE Port improves the safety of the American people and the security of our global supply chain.  Creating multi layered maritime security and dedicating the resources necessary to identify suspect cargo and individuals, this legislation will ensure our shores are our last line of defense, not our first




The Republican Big Oil Addiction Grows

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) discussed the need for consumer relief from surging gas prices on his blog today.

It is disappointing that neither sky-rocketing gas prices nor obscene oil company profits can break the bond between Bush Republicans and Big Oil. Americans are struggling to pay the rising cost of gas, and they are not interested in hand outs to help oil companies make more money by letting them drill in wildlife refuges. The people want immediate relief and a new energy policy. It's refreshing that Republicans have adopted so many Democratic proposals to lower the price of gas. Now it is finally time the Republican Congress acts to provide relief and to reduce our addiction to oil.


What Needs To Be Done For Darfur

More than 10,000 people gathered in the National Mall on Sunday, while thousands more attended rallies across the country, to support the suffering people of Darfur. Music and film stars have helped attract more attention to the cause, and the White House has expressed its concern.All this is good news.

When the Holocaust unfolded, there were no rallies, there were no demonstrations, there was no legislation, there was just silence and indifference. I salute everyone who has stood up during these last few weeks and months to tell the oppressors, "We shall no longer mourn this genocide, we shall stop it."

As the Holocaust taught us, a villainous government that persecutes its own people cannot be counted on to keep its word; it must be compelled to do so.