Alexander Says Iraq Progress Report Provides Opportunity for Bipartisan Cooperation on New Strategy

Posted on July 12, 2007

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today said the White House’s progress report on Iraq gives Washington an opportunity to come together on a new strategy based on the Iraq Study Group recommendations. “President Bush is right that we can’t afford to fail in Iraq. That is why I support the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group that would provide for a long-term but more limited American military presence in Iraq and a transition over the next year from combat to training and support,” Alexander said. “It is important for the president, the Congress, our country and our troops if we speak with one voice on Iraq. The Iraq Study Group report is a way to build that bi-partisan consensus. Our job in Washington - from both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue- is to look for some way to come together on Iraq so the troops will know that we support them in the foremost issue of our time." Senator Alexander noted he has been a consistent supporter of the Iraq Study Group recommendations since it was issued late last year. Below is a time-line of some of the actions he has taken over the last six months. January 12, 2007. Senator Alexander called for a new strategy in Iraq in an article he wrote in the Tennessean. He included in his suggestion for a new strategy a number of the provisions of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group’s report. January 23, 2007. Following the president’s State of the Union Address, Sen. Alexander expressed his preference for the Iraq Study Group proposal in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper. February 22, 2007. In a short online Tennessean op-ed, Senator Alexander writes that “we should base our strategy upon the recommendations of the Iraq Study Group,” and notes “on page 73, that group’s report specifically endorses the idea of a surge if it is part of a strategy like the one I have outlined.” February 27. Sen. Alexander talks about the positive message of the Iraq Study Group at a Senate Appropriations Committee Hearing. March 14, 2007. Senator Alexander called for the President to adopt the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group report in a speech to the United States Senate. May 10, 2007. Senator Alexander announces that he and Senator Salazar have drafted legislation to implement the recommendations of the bipartisan Iraq Study Group. May 24, 2007. A Bipartisan group of four senators – two Republicans and two Democrats- joined Senator Alexander and Senator Salazar in cosponsoring Iraq Study Group legislation. Two more senators, one from each party, joined the bill a day later. May 28, 2007. In an interview on National Public Radio after the president signed the war-spending bill, Sen. Alexander highlighted the Iraq Study Group recommendations as the most promising strategy for Iraq. June 5, 2007- Senator Alexander joined seven Senate colleagues to introduce legislation that would make the Iraq Study Group recommendations the basis for future U.S. strategy in Iraq. July 6, 2007- In interviews with NPR, the Los Angeles Times and other media outlets, Senator Alexander urges the White House to embrace the Iraq Study Group report. July 10, 2007- Senators Alexander and Salazar announce their intention to offer as an amendment to the Department of Defense Authorization bill the legislation making the Iraq Study Group recommendations the basis for future U.S. strategy in Iraq. The list of cosponsors grows to 13- 7 Democrats and 6 Republicans. July 11, 2007- Senator Alexander takes to the Senate floor to again press for the inclusion of the Iraq Study Group report in U.S. Iraq policy.