News Releases

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Isakson Urges Congress to Pass President's Supplemental Budget for Iraq
Calls Request 'Expanded Investment in Peace and Democracy'

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA) today urged Congress to give swift approval to the President's new request for an additional $81.9 billion in spending to cover the costs of training Iraqi troops, continuing military intelligence operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and increasing death benefits for families of service members killed in combat.

Isakson, who traveled to Iraq earlier this month after the country's elections, said there is no doubt that America's investment in Iraq and the Middle East is reaping a huge return.

"As we consider $81.9 billion dollars for the continuation in our effort in Iraq and Afghanistan, if we look for optimism, it surrounds us everywhere," Isakson said.

"Only after our engagement in Afghanistan were the Taliban deposed. Only after our engagement in Iraq was Hussein captured. And only after the evidence of our commitment did Libya give up its weapons of mass destruction. That, to me, is great optimism for the future of security and stability not only in Iraq, not only in the Middle East, but throughout the world."

Isakson warned that the failure to pass the President's supplemental budget request and to continue to invest in Iraq would send the wrong message to terrorists.

"What dividend would we receive by making no investment at all? My submission to you is we're fighting the war on terror not overseas but in our own streets, and we'd be spending vast more fortunes to try to be a defensive country to protect ourselves rather than an offensive country to spread democracy wherever people yearn for it," Isakson said.

"Our president has sent us a document to make an expanded investment in peace and democracy. I would submit to you that the efforts for optimism abound in Iraq and I for one would stand by this President to stand by our men and women in harm's way so the democracy which has now bloomed will flourish in a part of the world it has never seen."

Please click here to listen to excerpts from the statement and click here to watch the statement. Click here to read the entire statement.