|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
APRIL 19, 2004
|CONTACT: U.S. Representative David Obey
Dave Helfert (202) 225-3481/ 4223
Statement from Dave Obey on Bob Woodward Book Revelations
WASHINGTON - April 19 - "In the summer of 2002, Bush approved $700 million worth of 'preparatory tasks' in the Persian Gulf region such as upgrading airfields, bases, fuel pipelines and munitions storage depots to accommodate a massive U.S. troop deployment. The Bush administration funded the projects from a supplemental appropriations bill for the war in Afghanistan and old appropriations, keeping Congress unaware of the reprogramming of money and the eventual cost." [Washington Post, April 18, 2004]
I find the Woodward revelations to be disturbing. Four days after 9-11, Appropriations Committee Chairman Bill Young and I pushed through Congress a $40 billion emergency appropriations bill to respond to al Qaeda and the damage they created. The Administration asked for a total blank check-unlimited funding for an unlimited time. We refused, but did give them unprecedented flexibility with the assurance that they would keep Congress plugged into what they were doing.
But, if Mr. Woodward's book is accurate, it is clear that once again the Administration has declined to cooperate with those who are trying to cooperate with them. The Administration owes Congress a full, detailed and immediate accounting.
Furthermore, if this is all true, it is ironic that the President was surreptitiously authorizing expenditures to begin a plan for war at the very same time he was resisting bipartisan Congressional efforts to provide desperately needed funds for homeland security, to make sure Americans were not vulnerable to further attacks.