Archive for October, 2011
Iraq Withdrawal: U.S. Abandoning Plans To Keep Troops In Country
BAGHDAD — The U.S. is abandoning plans to keep U.S. troops in Iraq past a year-end withdrawal deadline, The Associated Press has learned. The decision to pull out fully by January will effectively end more than eight years of U.S. involvement in the Iraq war, despite ongoing concerns about its security forces and the potential for instability.
The decision ends months of hand-wringing by U.S. officials over whether to stick to a Dec. 31 withdrawal deadline that was set in 2008 or negotiate a new security agreement to ensure that gains made and more than 4,400 American military lives lost since March 2003 do not go to waste.
In recent months, Washington has been discussing with Iraqi leaders the possibility of several thousand American troops remaining to continue training Iraqi security forces. A Pentagon spokesman said Saturday that no final decision has been reached about the U.S. training relationship with the Iraqi government.
But a senior Obama administration official in Washington confirmed Saturday that all American troops will leave Iraq except for about 160 active-duty soldiers attached to the U.S. Embassy.
A senior U.S. military official confirmed the departure and said the withdrawal could allow future but limited U.S. military training missions in Iraq if requested.
Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.
Full Story Here
Almost every Missouri employer that I talk to quickly raises the same concern: new, oppressive regulations being issued by the Obama Administration. These regulations are hitting every aspect of our economy with crippling red-tape that reduces efficiency, drives up costs, and ultimately kills jobs. The Obama Administration currently is working on 219 new regulations that will cost our economy at least $100 million each. These regulations are hitting small businesses, farmers, cement producers, utility companies, and much more. One of these regulations, from the EPA, could cost our economy as much as $90 billion per year. That is $90 billion in job creation disappearing into thin air, due to one new over-burdensome regulation.
My Republican colleagues and I are working to roll back these job-killing regulations put forth by the Obama Administration. In the last few weeks, House Republicans have responded by passing a number of bills including:
H.R. 2250 to repeal new regulations on the 200,000 boilers used nation wide costing companies up to $20 billion,
H.R. 2681 to repeal new regulations on cement production that could close 20% of all American cement plants, and
H.R. 2273 to repeal new EPA regulations on coal ash which could result in over 184,000 job losses according the National Association of Manufacturers.
Unfortunately, these are just a few of the crippling regulations the Obama Administration is advancing. While the President promotes a second stimulus as a “jobs” plan, his administration is actively killing jobs across our country. I will continue to work with my colleagues to do all we can to fight these job-killing regulations, and we will pass a number of additional bills addressing these regulations in coming weeks. If you want more details, feel free to read the House Republican Job Plan.
On a different note, I recently introduced the Veteran’s ID Card Act. Currently only veterans who are entitled to receive retirement or medical benefits are issued an ID card from the Veterans Administration. This means that many veterans who have served honorably have no easy way to prove their status as a veteran. This bill corrects this deficiency, and does so at no cost to taxpayers. As of today, I have thirty-four of my colleagues, both Republicans and Democrats, cosponsoring my bill, and I hope to get the Veterans Affairs Committee to consider the bill soon.
While there are serious struggles today, I continue to believe that we as a nation can work together to improve our future. Please do not hesitate to contact me with your thoughts on any of the issues we are facing, via email, Facebook or Twitter.
W. Todd Akin
P.S. The House of Representatives passed the Protect Life Act on Thursday. I am an original cosponsor of this bill and was very proud to see it passed. It now awaits action in the Senate.