For Immediate Release
April 23, 2007
Reid vs. Reid: A State Of Confusion
Sen. Reid's State Of Confusion On The Iraq Study Group Report, Regional Conference, Funding For Political Reconciliation, And His Discussion With The President
Setting the Record Straight
"Sen. Reid seems to be in a state of confusion. Today, he said the President 'ignored' the Iraq Study Group by sending more troops to secure Baghdad when the Iraq Study Group report said it would support this step. Sen. Reid also called for a regional conference when one is already set to begin in days, called for emphasizing political reconciliation in Iraq when the Senate's own bill cuts $243 million vital for political reconciliation, and said his meetings with the President are unproductive despite characterizing his discussion with the President last Wednesday as a 'good exchange' minutes after the meeting concluded."
– White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino, 4/23/07
IN CASE SEN. REID MISSED IT: The Iraq Study Group Endorsed Using Additional Forces To Stabilize Baghdad
Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV): "By ordering his troop surge," the President "ignored the advice of the Iraq Study Group." (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks On Iraq, Washington, DC, 4/23/07)
- Iraq Study Group Report: "We could, however, support a short-term redeployment or surge of American combat forces to stabilize Baghdad, or to speed up the training and equipping mission, if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines that such steps would be effective." ("The Iraq Study Group Report," 2006)
- Iraq Study Group Co-Chair James A. Baker, III: "Setting a deadline for withdrawal regardless of conditions in Iraq makes even less sense today because there is evidence that the temporary surge is reducing the level of violence in Baghdad. As Baghdad goes, so goes Iraq. The Iraq Study Group said it could support a short-term surge to stabilize Baghdad or to speed up training and equipping of Iraqi soldiers if the U.S. commander in Iraq determines such steps would be effective. Gen. David Petraeus has so determined." (James A. Baker, III, Op-Ed, "A Path to Common Ground," The Washington Post, 4/5/07)
IN CASE SEN. REID MISSED IT: Regional Conference To Begin In 10 Days
Sen. Reid: "The first thing that needs to be done is a regional conference." "Have, as the Iraq Study Group said, have the United States meet with Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and, yes, Iran, to sit down and see what we can do to resolve the issues that are so ugly in Iraq." (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks On Iraq, Washington, DC, 4/23/07)
- A regional conference is scheduled for early May: "Ministers from Iraq's neighboring countries, the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and industrialized nations will hold a meeting in Egypt early next month to discuss the situation in Iraq, Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari said Saturday. … Ministers from Iraq's neighbors as well as Bahrain and Egypt, and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, will hold a meeting in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheik on May 3-4, Zebari said. … Also in attendance, Zebari said, will be officials from the so-called Group of Eight industrialized nations: Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S." ("Ministers From 20 Countries To Meet In Egypt Over Iraq Next Month," The Associated Press, 4/7/07)
IN CASE SEN. REID MISSED IT: The Senate Bill Cuts Funds For Political Reconciliation While Saying Reconciliation Is Key
Sen. Reid: "General Petraeus has said the ultimate solution in Iraq is a political one, not a military one." (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks On Iraq, Washington, DC, 4/23/07)
- Of the President's FY 2007 supplemental request, the Senate cut $243 million in critical programs that would help the Iraqis meet important political and economic benchmarks. The Senate added $120 million to the President's request, of which $70 million is for refugees and internally displaced persons and $50 million is for a specific USAID program, leaving a net cut from the President's request of $243 million.
- The $243 million in net Senate cuts included:
- $70 million to build the governing capacity of local governments.
- $50 million to help the Iraqis draft and implement key legislative and legal reforms.
- 50 million to support rule of law programs so Iraqis can better govern themselves.
- $43 million to promote democracy and civil society efforts.
- $40 million to build the governing capacity of the national government.
- $10 million for private sector development.
- $100 million to support our diplomatic mission and civilian presence, including $41 million for supporting the doubling the PRTs.
- President Bush: "We fully recognize that there has to be political progress and economic progress, along with military progress, in order for that government to succeed." (President George W. Bush, Remarks, East Grand Rapids, MI, 4/20/07)
IN CASE SEN. REID MISSED IT: Sen. Reid's Own Comments After Meeting With The President
Sen. Reid today: "We don't have meetings with the President, not real substantive meetings, he holds carefully scripted sessions where he repeats his talking points." (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks On Iraq, Washington, DC, 4/23/07)
- Sen. Reid immediately following last Wednesday's meeting: "Well, we had an hour-long meeting with the President. It was a good exchange; everyone voiced their considered opinion about the war in Iraq – the conversation was with the war in Iraq, that's basically all it was, with a few variations, but mainly that. ... [P]eople gave their opinions, they gave their considered opinion what was going wrong and right with the war in Iraq. And I think we have too little of that. I think it was extremely important the President hear from us. And he heard from us in detail. And I think he needs to hear more of conversations from people like us – who don't always tell him what he wants to hear. I think we told him things today that he needed to hear." (Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Remarks After Meeting With The President, Washington, DC, 4/18/07)
- Speaker Pelosi on the meeting: "I think the conversation that we had is the basis for future conversations on this. But each side was very clear with its position that that doesn't mean that that's the end of the conversation. And that is what is known as a negotiation and government, that it's not just one meeting." (Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Remarks After Meeting With The President, Washington, DC, 4/18/07)