An April 8 News Tribune editorial called efforts to change the president’s failed Iraq policy “risky gamesmanship” and asserted that Congress should delay until 2008 the tough decisions American voters demanded in 2006. This would be a gross abdication of Congress’ responsibilities.

We cannot allow the president’s failed Iraq policies to cost more American lives, erode our military and undermine our fight against terrorists while we wait out his term. An open-ended commitment in Iraq draws resources from the fight against al-Qaida and gives extremists a rallying point. If we delay action for two years, we will be in an even worse position to pursue terrorists across the globe.

The House war supplemental bill funds the troops. It requires accountability from Iraqis and redeployment of our forces to better fight al-Qaida. This is a responsible way out of the Iraq crisis.

The editorial cited the president’s warnings of extended deployments and inadequate rest for service members. Unfortunately, due to the president’s mismanagement, this has been the story of the Iraq war for years. This is unacceptable, and we need a new direction.

The editorial admonishes Congress to allow President Bush time to “extricate us honorably” from Iraq. We have no indication the president plans to do so. House Armed Services Chairman Ike Skelton, D-Mo., and I asked the president to provide proof of such planning. To date, we have received none.

Congress should not give the president another two years of blank checks for his failed policies in Iraq.