House Concurrent Resolution No. 19



            Whereas, President George W. Bush has proposed an escalation in the number of United States troops deployed in Iraq; and


            Whereas, United States involvement in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 United States soldiers and the wounding and disabling of more than 22,000 United States military personnel to date; and


            Whereas, the war and subsequent civil war between Iraqi religious factions has led to at least 55,000 Iraqi civilian deaths, with others estimating as much as ten times that number, which threatens to engulf our troops in an ever escalating cycle of violence and reprisals; and


            Whereas, this proposed escalation will further extend National Guard tours in Iraq, that the costs to the states of the call-up of National Guard members for deployment in Iraq have been significant, as reckoned in lost lives, combat injuries and psychic trauma, disruption of family life, financial hardship for individuals, families and businesses, interruption of careers and damage to the fabric of civic life in our communities; and


            Whereas, the American troops have valiantly upheld their duty in Iraq under dire circumstances; and


            Whereas, more than $357 billion has been appropriated by Congress to fund military operations and reconstruction in Iraq to date, money that could fund desperately needed education, health care, housing, nutrition, and other social services in our communities in the United States or humanitarian assistance abroad; and


            Whereas, previous budgets that have prioritized Iraq have led to cuts in critical block grants for states and have increased the federal debt, which compounded by interest payments, will likely lead to even larger cuts in funding for critical needs in the States; and


            Whereas, polls show that the vast majority of Americans do not support increasing the number of troops in Iraq; and


            Whereas, most military experts oppose escalation in Iraq and press reports indicate that even the Joint Chiefs of Staff have opposed such a strategy; and


            Whereas, legal experts on all sides have determined that Congress has not only broad authority, but a long tradition of limiting escalation or forcing redeployment of troops through the Constitutionally-designate power of the purse:


            Now, therefore, be it resolved that the members of the House of Representatives of the Ninety-fourth General Assembly, First Regular Session, the Senate concurring therein, hereby urges, on behalf of its citizens, that in a period when the Iraq Study Group, leading military and diplomatic officials and allies around the world are calling for a reduction in troops and withdrawal of the United States from Iraq, the United States government should not escalate its involvement in Iraq or increase troop levels; and


            Be it further resolved that, at a minimum, the President should obtain explicit approval from Congress if he wants to send more American troops to Iraq; and


            Be it further resolved that the Congress should pass legislation prohibiting the President from spending taxpayer dollars on an escalation in Iraq unless he first seeks Congressional approval; and


            Be it further resolved that the Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives be instructed to prepare properly inscribed copies of this resolution for George W. Bush, President of the United States, and to each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation.