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Mr. Speaker: We should be cutting off funds for the War In Iraq, not adding more dollars. The billions of dollars already appropriated are enough to sustain our troops until the kind of orderly withdrawal proposed by Representative John Murtha is implemented. It is long past time to withdraw from a war that is sucking us deeper everyday into a bottomless quicksand pit of filth. To wage this war this administration is trampling on vital political rights and abandoning basic moral values. To pay for this war we are cutting aid to public housing; aid to Medicaid and Medicare; Pell grants; aid to public education; and numerous other programs which support the general welfare of all Americans.

Deeply destructive public policies and practices have become routine in this administration as every conceivable trick is used to rationalize the war. To save the nation we must withdraw from Iraq and John Murtha has offered the most practical scenario for achieving this goal. At the heart of the Murtha proposal is the recommendation of an orderly withdrawal over a six-month period. Murtha offers an honorable way out of a quicksand pit of filth. John Murtha speaks with the voice of a soldier. He thinks with the mind of a patriot. And John Murtha feels with the heart of a grieving mother.

Very definitive polls now communicate to all leaders the American people's overwhelming disapproval of the President and his War In Iraq. Our constituents endorse and support the position of John Murtha. History will certainly illuminate and validate the courage and wisdom of John Murtha. But Members of Congress should not wait for history. We Members of Congress have a duty to make history, to guide the nation out of this peril and back to the path of progress and prosperity. There are two classes of leaders who support this administration's War In Iraq: Those who consistently vote for the war and the endless appropriations. And those leaders whose levels of concern are so low that they refuse, despite the objections of their constituents, to even take the very moderate action of becoming a co-sponsor of Murtha's well-reasoned proposal for withdrawal. Censure or impeachment proceedings may be necessary in the future. But at this immediate moment the opportunity to salvage this deteriorating situation is clearly present in the Murtha proposal. Members should co-sponsor Murtha now and let their constituents know that their voices have been heard.

Vote first against this wasteful, destructive, appropriation for Iraq. And then sign on as a Murtha co-sponsor.



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