U.S. Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) today issued the following statement in response to the President’s request for an additional $46 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Yesterday’s request brings the amount sought by the President for fiscal year 2008 war spending to $196.4 billion.

“President Bush requested a total of $196.4 billion for next year, mostly to continue our Iraq occupation, which is now in its fifth year.  The President has yet to provide a real plan to end our occupation, stop the flow of resources into a multisided sectarian civil war, and refocus on the fight against al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world.  And yet, he wants Congress to provide almost $200 billion to continue down a path that undermines our security and gives extremists a rallying point.

“President Bush is fighting Congressional efforts to provide funds for our veterans, health care for children, and infrastructure improvements here at home on the basis that we cannot afford them.  But this request dwarfs the price tag of those essential priorities, and it highlights the enormous cost of the President’s policies in Iraq.

“Our occupation will continue until we begin to end it.  It is long past time for a new direction in Iraq.  We must begin to redeploy our troops and end the occupation so we can refocus on the fight to stop the spread of terrorism around the world.”