U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement after voting for H.R. 1591, the U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Health, and Iraq Accountability Act.  The bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 218 to 212.

“This bill is an important first step to get the President to change course in Iraq.  The American people have made it absolutely clear they want a new direction, but the President wants ‘no strings attached’ funds so he can pursue the same failed policies in Iraq.  The time has come to acknowledge that we will not stay in Iraq indefinitely.  This bill provides a responsible blueprint for the redeployment of our troops to better fight the war on terror.

“Our bill will also put pressure on the Iraqi government to meet the benchmarks the President enumerated months ago.  It gives our leaders in the field leverage they need to force Iraqi politicians to commit to a just accommodation among the warring factions in Iraq. 

“I support this legislation, and I strongly believe it will help lead to a better course of action by our nation in Iraq and in the broader war against Al Qaeda and their violent totalitarian ideology.”