Congressman Mark Pocan

Representing the 2nd District of Wisconsin
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Pocan Statement on Syria Rebel Funding Amendment

Sep 17, 2014
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02) today issued the following statement on the McKeon Amendment to provide $500 million in funding to Syrian rebels to fight the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL):

“There is no debate ISIL is a terrorist organization responsible for appalling acts of violence. But there is debate about what this will actually do for the region and whether it will lead to war. This $500 million dollar down payment will only further entangle us in a part of the world most Americans want us out of.

“It’s important to remember how we got into this mess. Bad intelligence and deception from the Bush Administration led us to – years of war in Iraq – more than 4,000 lives lost – more than $1.7 trillion spent already – and more to come as we continue to care for our men and women in uniform when they return home.

“That is why Congress needs to have a standalone debate and vote on war authorization. After 150 airstrikes already – it’s hard to say it’s not a war. When you have over a thousand troops already on the ground – it’s hard to say it’s not a war. When the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff says even more troops may be needed – it’s hard to say it’s not a war. The Constitution makes clear that Congress has a voice in matters of war. The need for a robust debate is even more important when we are unsure about the end game.

“Every briefing I have had this week, classified or unclassified, has only raised more questions.  With so many questions left unanswered and the possibility of another prolonged war in Iraq, it is clear to me I cannot support this amendment.”