I voted against the Iraq War Supplemental last Friday and it was most controversial bill I've voted on since I've been in Congress.

It set arbitrary benchmarks and guidelines for ending U.S. involvement in Iraq.  The last thing our troops in the field need is 435 generals in the halls of Congress micromanaging this war.  And we certainly don't need to let the terrorists know exactly when they will have free reign in Iraq. No country in the world has ever set a date for ending a war.  It would be great to be completely out of Iraq by August 2008, but what if the Islamic fascists don't agree to the idea?  Most countries fight wars until the war is finished, based on the war situation, and not based on a calendar and an arbitrary date at that.

We, in this over 200-year constitutional government, cannot do things that we should do. Last year, for example, we were not able to pass a budget. We did not pass all of our appropriation bills.  How do we expect the Iraqis to do it by an arbitrary date set by a bunch of politicians?

Not only does this bill tie the hands of our troops, but there is over $23 billion in extracurricular items attached that have absolutely nothing to do with the war in Iraq.  There is funding for everything from spinach to NASA to the minimum wage to even debt forgiveness for Liberia.  In their attempt to garner votes, the Democrats have promised something to everyone. Instead of passing a bill that focused solely on the needs of our troops, the Democrats chose to focus on the needs of their own party.

What we needed to do was pass a clean bill that gives our troops the support they need to win the War on Terror and allow General Petraeus the time to implement his plan.  Already the surge is bringing positive results.  Since it began in mid-February, civilian deaths are down more than 500%.  Overall bombings are down nearly 40%, specifically car bombings are down nearly 35%.  Also, 49% of Iraqis prefer life under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to living under Saddam and 63% of Iraqis don't believe they are in a civil war.

I represent Fort Stewart. This week, the 3rd Infantry Division starts on its third deployment to Iraq. General Lynch, the commanding general, just left on Tuesday. But back in Hinesville, Georgia, there are 318 memorial trees that have been planted in memory of 3rd Infantry soldiers who have lost their life in Iraq. I have gone to some of the ceremonies. It is a sad thing, but even as you leave the field, the memorial field, soldiers say, we want to complete this job.

I welcome all Members of Congress to come to Ft. Stewart to visit with the troops and their families.  Ask the soldiers themselves - who should run the war, the politicians in Washington or the Army Generals in Baghdad?