Monday, February 05, 2007

States Introduce Resolutions on Iraq

The news from the Senate floor today wasn't good, even though it played out as expected. The Democrats lost the cloture vote to end debate over troop escalation, which in turn prevented a vote on the Warner-Levin resolution. Whether that comes as a relief or frustration depends on your theory of how the vote will play out in the political arena. Sen. Harry Reid certainly viewed it as a setback.

But there is some encouraging news regarding resolutions in another political theater - state legislatures. David Sirota, a co-chair of Progressive States Network, has a post listing 22 states that now have introduced resolutions condemning the troop escalation in Iraq.

On the eve of critical U.S. Senate votes this week on President Bush's Iraq escalation plan, the Progressive States Network announced today that over 20 state legislatures so far have introduced resolutions opposing the President's move and demanding Congress use its power to stop the so-called "surge......

"States have the power and authority to speak out on issues that will impact them and their citizens," said Joel Barkin, executive director of the Progressive States Network. "An escalation in Iraq would cripple our already over-extended guard units, threatening readiness at home."

And in case you missed it, number nineteen on the list is Texas. Rep. Garnet Coleman, D-Houston, filed a resolution (HR 184) last week condemning the troop surge. Here is Coleman's statement from his press release.

"Our troops in Iraq have performed exceedingly well under difficult and dire circumstances, but the reality is that previous increases of troop strength haven't improved things in Iraq. We cannot send more troops into harm's way, and if the only way to keep that from happening is for Congress to block funding for escalating the war, then that's what I hope they will do."

"Here in Texas, we have shouldered much of the burden of the war in Iraq's consequences. Extended tours-of-duty in Iraq have put a significant strain on the Texas National Guard. Our state alone has lost two hundred and seventy nine brave men and women serving in our armed forces since the start of the war. The war has cost Texans tens of billions of dollars that could have been better spent on other domestic or humanitarian efforts. I hope our leaders in Washington DC recognize the cost of the war and do not escalate our involvement in Iraq."

Those of you in North Texas who want to urge your legislators to support Rep. Coleman's resolution can click here.

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