Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today delivered a speech on the floor of the Senate in favor of the Iraq Supplemental Spending Bill, which responsibly funds the troops and changes America’s course in Iraq.

Following is the text of Senator Feinstein’s remarks today:

“In 1999, when George Bush was a candidate for the presidency and President Clinton was Commander-in-Chief, George Bush had this to say about American troops in Bosnia: ‘Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain what the exit strategy is.’

Well, the Congress has been asking for that exit strategy, year after year, for four years now. In fact, President Bush has no exit strategy, and so the United States is bogged down in an impossible situation – ‘Shock and awe’ followed by ineffective ‘follow on’ efforts.

 Today, in the fifth year of this war, the United States is enmeshed in what has become a vicious and terrifying civil war.  It cannot be won through the use of American military force.

This war can only be won through political accommodation between Sunni and Shia, which means only the Iraqis can settle it, which means only the Iraqi government can settle it.

To this date, they appear to be unable to do what needs to be done to stop this conflict. So without an exit strategy, the war goes on.  The killings continue. The casualties rise.  Nearly 25,000 Americans injured, with many tens of thousands of Iraqis killed and injured, and hundreds of thousands of people displaced from their homes by this war.

Estimates put Iraqi civilian deaths, in the first three months of this year, at more than 5,500 in the Baghdad area alone. 

 And on Monday, two truck bombs killed nine members of the 82nd Airborne Division, and wounded 20 more. It was the deadliest day of combat in the division’s history since the Vietnam War.

I fear that unless Congress acts and puts forward that exit strategy, this bloodshed will continue, year after year. And that’s intolerable.

Today we have before us a measure that offers a solution and a strategy to fill the void left by the Administration.

The Iraqi Supplemental Spending Bill responsibly funds our troops, and changes the course in Iraq.

And most importantly, it sends a message to the Iraqi government: That the United States’ commitment is not open-ended; that benchmarks will measure the progress, and that political accommodation is crucial.

Under this legislation, the Iraqi government would be judged on how it disarms militias, pursues Sunni-Shia reconciliation initiatives, establishes fair oil-sharing laws, reforms de-Baathification laws, and protects the rights of minorities. This is as it should be.

This legislation ensures that our troops have sufficient rest and training, and are provided well-maintained equipment.  This is as it should be.

And it allows for a redefined mission for American forces, limited to anti-terrorism operations, training Iraqi forces, and protecting American civilians and members of the armed forces. This is as it should be.

And it begins the process of bringing our troops home. And into the fifth year of a war, this, too, is as it should be.

The American people spoke in a clear voice. Today the Senate of the United States will as well.

Thank you, Mr. President. I yield the floor.”