Q: Your solution in Iraq is a staged withdrawal. How is this not cutting-and-running?
RADNOFSKY: We are destabilizing Iraq by our presence. The NIE indicates as such, and British generals indicate as such. By withdrawing, we will allow international
building, by the US taking its role as leader among nations. My opponent has said we must increase troops, and also that we cannot leave until weíve stabilized the country.
JAMESON: We need to take a measured approach to Iraq. I do not support an
immediate withdrawal from Iraq. As far as I can tell, we still do have a role there.
HUTCHISON: I canít think of anything worse than America cutting-and-running because times are tough. I think it would hurt our troops. We need to support them, and
make sure they have the cover they need. We must never cut-and-run. That would shred the credibility of America. The NIE says we are destabilizing the al-Qaeda leadership. The worst thing we could do is appear to leave and give terrorists a victory.
Need ideas like option for semi-autonomous regions
RADNOFSKY: My opponentís idea for partition is not adequate. First, the prime minister of Iraq has said that partitioning will increase terrorism in Iraq. Secondly, the history of partitioning in this part of the world is unsuccessful.
It is clear it is not going well in Iraq, and we should come up with ideas. One of the things we should put on the table as an option is semi-autonomous regions. This is provided for in the constitution of Iraq, and the parliament of
Iraq has set out a process. The Sunnis reject that idea, because theyíre worried about not having the oil revenue, but that can be handled as well.
JAMESON: I am upset for the way the Iraq war is funded.
It is inappropriate to fund a war on a constant emergency basis, because Congressmen can add in extra appropriations and pork barrel spending that they know will get passed.
Would have voted against war if current WMD info were known
Q: Had you known then that there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), how would you have voted on the Iraqi War Resolution?
HUTCHISON: If I had known then what I know now about the WMDs--which was a key reason that I voted to go in there--I
would not vote to go into Iraq the way we did. But the President would not have asked for that vote, either. We had intelligence that we relied on. So did the British. Everyone thought they had WMDs. The President was trying to make sure that America was
not hit with another 9/11 with a Weapon of Mass Destruction. He believed that Iraq had the weapons and had the capacity to deliver them. I certainly would not have voted that way had we known there were no such weapons.
RADNOFSKY: At the time of the
Iraqi War Resolution, Sen. Graham begged his colleagues to read secret papers. We now know that those secret papers revealed that the WMD documentation from the CIA was quite skeptical. I donít believe that our senators read the secret documents.
No missions which are not necessary for US security
Hutchinson says, "We have allowed ourselves to be pulled into missions that are not necessary for US security. When we set up unending peacekeeping missions in places like Somalia and
Bosnia, we jeopardize our ability to respond to real crises elsewhere in the world. This is not an abstract matter. It is very real for thousands of families whose loved ones are proudly and patriotically serving our nation in the armed forces.
And it's real for the readiness and security of the US."
Hutchison employs a personal litmus test whenever the question of US military intervention arises. "I ask myself,
Can I say, 'Your son or daughter died fighting for our freedom?'"
Voted NO on redeploying non-essential US troops out of Iraq in 9 months.
Vote to transition the missions of US Forces in Iraq to a more limited set of missions as specified by the President on September 13, 2007: S.AMDT.3875 amends S.AMDT.3874 and underlying bill H.R.2764:
The President shall commence the safe, phased redeployment of members of the US Armed Forces from Iraq who are not essential to the [new limited mission].
Such redeployment shall begin not later than 90 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
No funds under any provision of law may be expended to continue the deployment in Iraq of members of the US Armed Forces after 9 months.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Sen. LEVIN: "The amendment requires redeployment be completed within 9 months. At that point, funding for the war would be ended, with four narrow exceptions:"
Security for US Government personnel and infrastructure
Training Iraqi security forces
Equipment to US service men and women to ensure their safety
Targeted operations against members of al-Qaida.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Sen. McCAIN: "This year, after nearly 4 years of mismanaged war, our military has made significant gains under the so-called surge. Overall violence in Iraq has fallen to its lowest level since . Improvised explosive device blasts now occur at a rate lower than at any point since September 2004.
"Al-Qaida's leadership knows which side is winning in Iraq. It may not be known in some parts of America and in this body, but al-Qaida knows. We are succeeding under the new strategy.
"Given these realities, some proponents of precipitous withdrawal from Iraq have shifted their focus. While conceding, finally, that there have been dramatic security gains, they have begun seizing on the lackluster performance of the Iraqi Government to insist that we should abandon the successful strategy and withdraw U.S. forces. This would be a terrible mistake."
Voted YES on designating Iran's Revolutionary Guards as terrorists.
Vote on a "Sense of the Senate" amendment, S.Amdt. 3017, to H.R. 1585 (National Defense Authorization Act), that finds:
that it is a vital US national interest to prevent the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran from turning Shi'a militia extremists in Iraq into a Hezbollah-like force;
that it should be US policy to combat, contain, and roll back the violent activities and destabilizing influence inside Iraq of the Government of Iran;
to support the prudent and calibrated use of all instruments of power in Iraq, including diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military instruments, in support of the policy;
that the US should designate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps as a foreign terrorist organization.
Proponents support voting YES because:
Sen. LIEBERMAN: Some of our colleagues thought the Sense of the Senate may have opened the door to some kind of military action against Iran [so we removed some text].
That is not our intention. In fact, our intention is to increase the economic pressure on Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps so that we will never have to consider the use of the military to stop them from what they are doing to kill our soldiers.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
Sen. BIDEN. I will oppose the Kyl-Lieberman amendment for one simple reason: this administration cannot be trusted. I am very concerned about the evidence that suggests that Iran is engaged in destabilizing activities inside Iraq. Arguably, if we had a different President who abided by the meaning and intent of laws we pass, I might support this amendment. I fear, however, that this President might use the designation of Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist entity as a pretext to use force against Iran as he sees fit. [The same was done with the Senate resolution on Iraq in 2002]. Given this President's actions and misuse of authority, I cannot support the amendment.
Voted NO on redeploying US troops out of Iraq by March 2008.
Begins the phased redeployment of US forces from Iraq within 120 days of enactment of this joint resolution with the goal of redeploying by March 31, 2008, all US combat forces from Iraq, except for a limited number essential for protecting US and coalition personnel and infrastructure, training and equipping Iraqi forces, and conducting targeted counter-terrorism operations. Such redeployment shall be implemented as part of a diplomatic, political, and economic strategy that includes sustained engagement with Iraq's neighbors and the international community in order to bring stability to Iraq.
Proponents recommend voting YES because:
Our troops are caught in the midst of a civil war. The administration has begun to escalate this war with 21,000 more troops. This idea is not a new one. During this war, four previous surges have all failed. It is time for a different direction. It is time for a drawdown of our troops.
Opponents recommend voting NO because:
This resolution calls for imposing an artificial timeline to withdraw our troops from Iraq, regardless of the conditions on the ground or the consequences of defeat; a defeat that will surely be added to what is unfortunately a growing list of American humiliations. This legislation would hobble American commanders in the field and substantially endanger America's strategic objective of a unified federal democratic Iraq that can govern, defend, and sustain itself and be an ally in the war against Islamic fascism. The unintended consequence of this resolution is to bring to reality Osama bin Laden's vision for Iraq; that after 4 years of fighting in Iraq the US Congress loses its will to fight. If we leave Iraq before the job is done, as surely as night follows day, the terrorists will follow us home. Osama bin Laden has openly said: America does not have the stomach to stay in the fight. He is a fanatic. He is an Islamic fascist. He is determined to destroy us and our way of life.
Reference: US Policy in Iraq Resolution;
; vote number 2007-075
on Mar 15, 2007
Voted NO on redeploying troops out of Iraq by July 2007.
Voting YEA on this amendment would establish a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. Voting NAY would keep the current situation without a timetable. The amendment states:
The President shall redeploy, commencing in 2006, US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007, leaving only the minimal number of forces that are critical to completing the mission of standing up Iraqi security forces and conducting specialized counterterrorism operations.
The President should maintain an over-the-horizon troop presence to prosecute the war on terror and protect regional security interests.
Within 30 days, the administration shall submit to Congress a report that sets forth the strategy for the redeployment of US forces from Iraq by July 1, 2007.
Opponents of the Resolution say:
This amendment would withdraw American forces from Iraq without regard to the real conditions on the ground.
The consequences of an American retreat would be terrible for the security of the
American people at home.
Our commitment is not open-ended. It is conditional on the Iraqis moving toward self-government and self-defense.
Supporters of the Resolution say:
Congress talks almost incessantly about the situation in Iraq as if on 9/11 the situation involved Iraq. Of course, it didn't. We were attacked by al-Qaida operating out of Afghanistan on 9/11.
One of the theories we hear is that somehow staying in Iraq is necessary because all the terrorists will come into Iraq, and then they wouldn't be able to attack us anywhere else. Some call this the roach-motel theory. The fact is, al-Qaida is operating in 60 to 80 countries. Yet our resources are only heavily focused on this Iraq situation.
In terms of differences from other Iraq amendments: This is binding, not just a sense of the Senate.
Secondly, we have a date; other amendments are open-ended.
Thirdly, this has an over-the-horizon force specifically to protect our security interests.
Voted NO on investigating contract awards in Iraq & Afghanistan.
To establish a special committee of the Senate to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts to conduct activities in Afghanistan and Iraq and to fight the war on terrorism. Voting YES would: create Senate special committee to investigate war contracts, taking into consideration: bidding, methods of contracting, subcontracting, oversight procedures, allegations of wasteful practices, accountability and lessons learned in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Voted YES on $86 billion for military operations in Iraq & Afghanistan.
Vote to pass a bill that would appropriate $86.5 billion in supplemental spending for military operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Fiscal 2004. The bill would provide $10.3 billion as a grant to rebuild Iraq. This includes:
$5.1 billion for security
$5.2 billion for reconstruction costs
$65.6 billion for military operations and maintenance
$1.3 billion for veterans medical care
$10 billion as a loan that would be converted to a grant if 90% of all bilateral debt incurred by the former Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, would have to be forgiven by other countries.
Reference: FY04 Emergency Supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan;
; vote number 2003-400
on Oct 17, 2003
Voted YES on authorizing use of military force against Iraq.
H.J.Res. 114; Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002. The administration would be required to report to Congress that diplomatic options have been exhausted before, or within 48 hours after military action has started. Every 60 days the president would also be required to submit a progress report to Congress.
Voted YES on allowing all necessary force in Kosovo.
Majority Leader Trent Lott motioned to kill the resolution that would have authorized the president to "use all necessary forces and other means," in cooperation with U.S. allies to accomplish objectives in Yugoslavia.
Status: Motion to Table Agreed to Y)78; N)22
Ending the Bosnian arms embargo.
Status: Bill Passed Y)69; N)29; NV)2
Reference: Bosnia Herzegovina Self-Defense Act of '95;
Bill S. 21
; vote number 1995-331
on Jul 26, 1995
Iranian nuclear weapons: prevention instead of containment.
Hutchison co-sponsored Resolution on Iran's nuclear program
Expressing the sense of Congress regarding the nuclear program of the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Whereas, since at least the late 1980s, Iran has engaged in a sustained pattern of illicit and deceptive activities to acquire nuclear capability;
Whereas the UN Security Council has adopted multiple resolutions since 2006 demanding the full suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities by Iran, particularly possible military dimensions;
Whereas, in Nov. 2011, the IAEA issued an extensive report that documents "serious concerns regarding possible military dimensions to Iran's nuclear programme";
Whereas top leaders of Iran have repeatedly threatened the existence of the State of Israel;
Whereas the Department of State has designated Iran as a state sponsor of terrorism since 1984;
Whereas Iran has provided weapons, training, & funding to terrorist groups, including Hamas, Hezbollah, and Shiite militias in Iraq;
Whereas Iran had forged a "secret deal" with al Qaeda to facilitate the movement of al Qaeda fighters and funding through Iranian territory;
Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives, that Congress--
Reaffirms that the US Government has a vital interest in working together to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
warns that time is limited to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
urges continued and increasing economic and diplomatic pressure on Iran until a full and sustained suspension of all uranium enrichment-related activities;
expresses that the window for diplomacy is closing;
expresses support for the universal rights and democratic aspirations of the people of Iran;
strongly supports US policy to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability;
rejects any US policy that would rely on containment as an option in response to the Iranian nuclear threat.
Hutchison co-sponsored supporting the completion of the US mission in Iraq
A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that the Commander of Multinational Forces-Iraq and all United States personnel under his command should receive from Congress the full support necessary to carry out the United States mission in Iraq. Expresses the sense of the Senate that:
Congress should ensure that General David Petraeus have the necessary resources to carry out their mission in Iraq; and
the government of Iraq must make visible progress toward meeting the political, economic, and military benchmarks enumerated in this Resolution.
Source: S.RES.70 & H.RES.150 2007-SR70 on Feb 5, 2007
Sanctions on Iran to end nuclear program.
Hutchison signed Iran Refined Petroleum Sanctions Act
Expresses the sense of Congress that:
diplomatic efforts to address Iran's illicit nuclear efforts, unconventional and ballistic missile development programs, and support for international terrorism are more likely to be effective if the President is empowered with explicit authority to impose additional sanctions on the government of Iran;
US concerns regarding Iran are strictly the result of that government's actions; and
the people of the United States have feelings of friendship for the people of Iran and regret that developments in recent decades have created impediments to that friendship.
States that it should be US policy to:
support international diplomatic efforts to end Iran's uranium enrichment program and its nuclear weapons program;
encourage foreign governments to direct state-owned and private entities to cease all investment in, and support of, Iran's energy sector and all exports of refined petroleum products to Iran;
on the Central Bank of Iran and any other Iranian financial institution engaged in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups; and
work with allies to protect the international financial system from deceptive and illicit practices by Iranian financial institutions involved in proliferation activities or support of terrorist groups.
Amends the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996 to direct the President to impose sanctions if a person has made an investment of $20 million or more (or any combination of investments of at least $5 million which in the aggregate equals or exceeds $20 million in any 12-month period) that directly and significantly contributed to Iran's ability to develop its petroleum resources. (Under current law the sanction thresholds are $40 million, $10 million, and $40 million, respectively.)