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Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Top Dems Urge Cooperation On Iraq Following Study Report

The two top Democrats to lead Congress starting in 2007 are urging President Bush to work with them in changing course in U.S. involvement in Iraq following today's report by the bipartisan Iraq Study Group (ISG).

"The Iraq Study Group has done a tremendous and historic service to the American people and to the troops serving in harm's way in Iraq. Their report underscores the message the American people sent one month ago: there must be change in Iraq, and there is no time to lose. It is time for the Iraqis to build and secure their nation, and it is time for American combat troops to be redeployed," says Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, incoming majority leader.

"Each day the situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. Yesterday, Defense Secretary nominee Robert Gates said 'we're not winning.' Today, the Iraq Study Group said Iraq is 'grave and deteriorating.' Like the Iraq Study Group, I urge the president to change course," Reid says. "He will find Congress ready and willing to work with him. The Senate will do its part next year and conduct strong oversight to ensure the president carries out an effective change in policy. Our troops in Iraq, including hundreds of Nevadans, have sacrificed so much. It is time for President Bush to reward their effort by bringing the country together around a new way forward."

Incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of California also expressed a theme of cooperation in light of the ISG findings.

"Months ago, House and Senate Democratic leaders suggested to the president that he implement one of the Study Group's chief recommendations -- to change the primary mission of U.S. troops in Iraq from combat to training and support, which would enable the redeployment of U.S. forces to begin. Now that the Study Group has endorsed this proposal, I hope that the president will recognize that he must take our policy in Iraq in a new direction," she says.

"If the president is serious about the need for change in Iraq, he will find Democrats ready to work with him in a bipartisan fashion to find a way to end the war as quickly as possible. We are committed to ensuring that the ideas of the Iraq Study Group, as well as the ideas of other thoughtful people inside and outside of government, are given full consideration in that process," Pelosi adds.


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