In response to Aaron Glantz’s Friday article “Congressman Trades Iraq Vote for Spinach,” Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-OR) asked that we run his reply. Glantz charged that Rep. DeFazio, who had previously opposed Iraq war funding bills, “decided to vote for President Bush’s most recent funding request after Congressional leaders added 400 million dollars in funding for rural schools.”
Here is Rep. DeFazio’s reponse:
I was an early, outspoken and consistent opponent of the war in Iraq. I doubted claims of WMD and ties to al-Qaeda. As the deception regarding the aluminum tubes and uranium for Niger began to unravel the WMD allegations, Rep. Ron Paul and I introduced a bill in February 2003 to repeal the use of force resolution passed by Congress. I first proposed a plan to negotiate a timeline to end the war to the president in February 2005.
However, unlike some other Out of Iraq Caucus members, I made the difficult choice to vote for the three previous supplementals to provide essential equipment (not preprovided by the Bush team) and support for the troops. It was a much easier call for me to vote for this emergency supplemental since it both provided essential equipment to the troops and an enforceable deadline to end the war. To say the least, it’s more than a bit of a stretch to take a staff member’s comments out of context and imply that my vote hinged upon a domestic spending addition to the bill.
It was the right vote, a vote to set an end to a war launched with massive deception that should never have been fought. Any suggestion that I had another motive for supporting the bill is flat out wrong.
Responses to the Rep. DeFazio may be sent via his contact form.