Friday, July 28, 2006

Sweeney has no plans on Iraq

While Rumsfeld is extending the stays of thousands of troops in Iraq and plans to send additional troops, Sweeney is grandstanding on Horse Slaughter (his Horse Slaughter bill does not actually ban Horse Slaughter) and Immigration issues. Reports are that a house committee will be in the 20th district next month for some election year publicity:

WASHINGTON — A House committee will travel to upstate New York next month for a field hearing on immigration reform, an issue that has deadlocked Congress and split Republicans.

House GOP leaders said the Judiciary Committee hearing will be held in Rep. John Sweeney's congressional district, though a site had not yet been chosen, his spokeswoman said. Sweeney is a Republican whose district stretches from Dutchess County to Lake Placid.

The hearing will examine identification requirements at the border and the risks of terrorism, drug smuggling and human trafficking.

Democrats have dismissed the previous immigration field hearings as election-year political theater.

(The Poughkeepsie Journal 7/28/06)

Why bother bringing congress here when Sweeney has been quoted dismissing plans for increasing border security? Saying:

"If we are ever some day get to a comprehensive immigration policy, you have to succeed first at a border security plan and no one that I know really has confidence that you can do this, that we can do this." -New York Congressman John Sweeney (read the full story in Voice of America July 28, 2006)

Sweeney still has no plans for how to turn things in Iraq around he just says he'll "continue to speak out on things I believe need to be done". Though he doesn't seem to have spoken out, nor to have said what he believes needs to be done. His most recent vote in congress on this issue was a Bush-supporting vote for more of the same. Sweeney claims that this is not a local issue, yet his website lists names of troops from the district who have died fighting in the war.

Kirsten Gillibrand's Policy Statement on Iraq is available online at her website here. A copy of her latest letter to Sweeney on the issue says:

July 25, 2006

Dear Mr. Sweeney:

I am writing to reiterate my call for a debate between us on the war in Iraq. I think it is important for the residents of the 20th District to have the opportunity to hear and compare our visions on how best to end the violence and establish a firm success strategy on the ground to allow for a redeployment of our troops. Clearly, this debate should also address our strategies to win the war on terror here at home and abroad.

After my first request, sent to you on June 22, 2006, your spokesperson said you would not schedule a debate with me because I was facing a primary challenge. Now that both of my primary opponents have dropped out and endorsed me, I am sure that you are now willing to debate.

I believe that the situation in Iraq is one of the most serious issues facing our country. I am sure we can agree about that. Where we disagree, however, is what constitutes a strategy for success in this conflict. It has been more than three years since President Bush declared "Mission Accomplished," and yet Iraq now stands on the brink of civil war and the administration has provided no clear plan forward for our troops. Recently, you joined with your house colleagues in support of President Bush's "Stay the Course" strategy. I believe that we need to change the course and formulate a real exit strategy that will create lasting peace in the region and undermine terrorism in the long term.

I would like to schedule this debate as soon your schedule permits. I look forward to hearing your response.

Thank you very much.

Sincerely,

Kirsten Gillibrand

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