DNC - McCain Myth Buster: John McCain and Iraqi Reconstruction

Today's McCain Myth: John McCain has pushed for the Iraqis to shoulder more of the burden in Iraq.

Washington, DC--
Yesterday, at a town hall meeting in Reno, John McCain claimed that he has worked to pressure the Iraqi government to pay its fair-share of the cost of reconstruction, emphasizing that "they understand that." But, once again, McCain's rhetoric doesn't match his voting record, which shows him repeatedly voting against efforts to require Iraq to help pay for its reconstruction. [McCain Town Hall, Reno (NV), 5/28/08; 2003 Senate Vote #389, 10/16/2003; 2003 Senate Vote #380, 10/14/2003]

Considering that the unpopular war in Iraq is now costing American taxpayers $12 billion a month, it's no surprise that McCain would suggest that the Iraqis should shoulder more of the burden of reconstruction themselves. Yet once again Senator McCain is saying one thing on the campaign trail while his record tells a very different story as McCain attempts to distract from the fact that he has been one of the staunchest supporters of President Bush's failed war policy from the start.


2003: McCain Voted Against Requiring Iraq to Help Pay For Its Reconstruction: McCain voted AGAINST Bayh, et. al., amendment: Requires Iraq reconstruction funds to be used as follows: $5.136 billion as grant for rebuilding Iraq's security services, and $5.168 billion provided in form of grant immediately for prescribed categories in Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund (excluding rebuilding of Iraq's security services already funded); authorizes President to lend remaining $10 billion to Iraq Relief and Reconstruction Fund to Iraq for purposes other than security, and allows that amount to be converted to a grant when 90 percent of Iraq's pre-liberation bilateral debts are absolved; requires notification to Congress of all obligations above $250 million; and expresses sense of Senate that each country that is owed bilateral debt by Iraq that was incurred by Saddam Hussein's regime should (1) forgive that debt, and (2) provide robust amounts of reconstruction aid during conference of donors scheduled to begin on October 23, 2003, in Madrid, Spain, and during other conferences of donors of foreign aid. [2003 Senate Vote #389, 10/16/2003]

2003: McCain Voted Against Requiring Iraq To Finance Reconstruction: McCain voted FOR Stevens motion to table Dorgan amendment: Strikes $20.3 billion appropriations request for reconstruction funds; requires President to direct Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq, in consultation with Governing Council in Iraq, to establish an Iraq Reconstruction Finance Authority (IRFA); requires Authority to obtain financing for reconstruction of infrastructure in Iraq through: (1) issuing securities or other financial instruments, (2) obtaining loans on open market from private bank or international financial institutions, and/or (3) collateralizing securities, instruments, or loans with revenue from future sales of oil extracted in Iraq. [2003 Senate Vote #380, 10/14/2003]

After casting himself as a "Maverick" in 2000, the new John McCain is walking in lockstep with President Bush, pandering to the right wing of the Republican Party, and embracing the ideology he once denounced. On the campaign trail McCain has callously abandoned many of his previously held positions, even contradicted himself, in a blatant attempt to remake himself into a candidate Republicans can accept in 2008. So just who is the real John McCain? The Democratic National Committee will present a daily fact aimed at exposing the man behind the myth.