April 9, 2008
Washington, D.C. -- During a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee today, Congressman Steve Chabot (R-OH) restated his belief that the cost of rebuilding Iraq should not be shouldered by U.S. taxpayers, but should be paid for by Iraqi oil profits.
During the hearing featuring General David Petraeus, the top U.S. Commander in Iraq, and Ambassador Ryan Crocker, Chabot asked Ambassador Crocker about Iraq’s oil revenues and reconstruction spending.
“One area of this Administration's Iraqi policy that I've quite frankly found lacking, is not insisting that a considerable amount of the cost of rebuilding Iraq be paid from Iraqi oil reserves rather than from the American taxpayer,” Chabot stated at the hearing. He went on to ask Ambassador Crocker why Iraq’s oil profits are not being used to pay for Iraq’s rebuilding.
In response to Chabot’s question, Ambassador Crocker replied “…that is the road we're moving down as I said in my statement we're out of the construction business in Iraq. We have a small number of projects we're finishing up, but reconstruction from here on in is going to be an Iraqi financial responsibility and they are stepping up to that both in terms of commitments, the amount of money they are appropriating for this purpose, and their ability to actually spend it is also improving.”
Chabot continues to believe that Iraqis should take more responsibility for their own country, both economically and militarily. He has previously supported efforts to make large amounts of U.S. assistance to Iraq to be in the form of loans that would have to be repaid, rather than direct grants. Chabot also has advocated for greater accountability and oversight to protect against wasteful spending in Iraq.