Colorado Senators split their support for the Iraq-Afghanistan Emergency Supplemental bill today, which passed the Senate on a 51-48 vote, after passing the House of Representatives yesterday on a vote of 218-208.
President George Bush has promised to veto the measure, as it requires troop redeployments from Iraq to begin by October 1, 2007. Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO) voted for the measure today, while Sen. Wayne Allard (R-CO) voted against it.
Yesterday, Colorado’s House delegation was similarly split along party lines, with all four Democrats voting for the bill, and all three Republicans voting against it.
Hear what Salazar and Allard had to say about the measure after the jump…On Tuesday, Allard spoke from the floor of the Senate, commenting about the bill he calls a “surrender document”:
We need to avoid micromanaging the war from the floor of the Senate, let our commander-in-chief perform his duties, and let our military leaders do their jobs. If we don’t support them fully in the Supplemental bill, then I must continue to vote against any legislation that sets arbitrary deadlines and thresholds in Iraq – and plead with my colleagues to do the same.
We cannot afford to set a deadline and walk away from Iraq. The cost of failure is too great to our future long-term national security. It’s in America’s security interests to have an Iraq that can sustain, govern and defend itself. Too much is at stake to simply abandon Iraq at this point; the price of failure is too great.
Salazar released a statement today explaining his vote by saying the bill “supports our troops, our veterans, and their families.” He further commented:
It is important for us to remember that, no matter how contentious this debate may become, every Senator shares the same goal: peace and stability in the Middle East and a safe return home for our troops. While we may disagree on the best path to that end, we must continue to work together for a constructive change in our policy…
The bill sends a direct message to the Iraqis that our military commitment is not open-ended. We hold the Iraqi government accountable through measurable and achievable benchmarks for security, political reconciliation and improving the lives of ordinary Iraqis.”