Thursday, August 2, 2007

Mike Rogers Votes Against Rest for U.S. Troops Serving in Iraq

This is a pretty simple premise, so we'll cut to the chase. Here's the background on H.R.3159:
  • Prohibits units and members of the regular Armed Forces from being deployed for Operations Iraqi Freedom or Enduring Freedom (including participation in the NATO International Security Assistance Force (Afghanistan)) unless the period between deployments is equal to or longer than the period of the previous deployment
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that the optimal minimum period between such deployments should be equal to or longer than twice the period of the previous deployment.
  • Prohibits units and members of the reserves from being deployed for such Operations (including such NATO participation) if the unit or member has been deployed within three preceding years.
  • Expresses the sense of Congress that units and members of the reserves should not be mobilized continuously for more than one year, and that the optimal minimum period between such deployments should be five years.
  • Authorizes the: (1) President to waive such limitations after certifying to Congress that the deployment is necessary to meet an operational emergency posing a threat to vital national security interests; or (2) chief of staff of the military department concerned (including the Coast Guard) to waive such limitations with respect to a member who has voluntarily requested mobilization.
In other words, this would give the men and women who have served in Iraq a period to rest in-between deployments.

Here's what Speaker Pelosi had to say about this legislation:
Today, in our fifth year of war in Iraq, the readiness of our forces has declined precipitously as the result of lengthy deployments. Our soldiers are serving their third and fourth tours of duty in Iraq, a war without end. This is unacceptable, especially at a time when the most recent National Intelligence Estimate shows that al Qaeda is gaining strength and the threat of terrorism against the United States is growing.

The New Direction Congress will always ensure that our brave men and women in uniform have the tools and training they need to do their jobs and return safely home. This legislation will strengthen our military by giving our troops the chance to recover from their deployments, retrain, and re-equip before redeploying.
Regardless of how you feel about the War in Iraq, it's hard to argue with that logic. And heck, there's even a window in there for the President to waive these limitations (which, knowing him, he would do anyway).

Nevertheless, this simple logic has once again escaped the good Congressman from the 8th district, who voted against H.R. 3159 today.

They say there's no rest for the weary, and thanks to Mike Rogers, that statement still applies to our American troops who have bravely served in the war he voted for.

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