Peace legislation introduced in Oklahoma legislature

Senator Connie Johnson introduces Senate Concurrent Resolution 3 for “non-escalation” of America’s involvement in “Iraq and other areas” and “requiring Congressional approval prior to such action.”

See the Resolution (below). Every Oklahoman can urge their Senator and Representative to Cosponsor and Support SCR 3 (House co-author of SCR 3 is Representative Ray McCarter from Marlow)

Don’t know who your State Senator is? Here’s a link to the Senate directory:
http://oksenate.gov/senators.htm

Don’t know who your State Rep is? Here’s a link to the House directory:
http://okhouse.gov/Members/MemberListing.aspx

Call and/or write, and convey your message succinctly & courteously. Senator Johnson made it clear that she is introducing this item because it represents the wishes of the public.

House co-author Rep. Ray McCarter is an educator from Marlow. He holds an Ed.D. degree from the University of Oklahoma, and is a Vietnam veteran. Maybe you would like to send a note of appreciation to him for co-sponsoring SCR 3. Here’s his contact information:
http://okhouse.gov/Committees/Member.aspx?MemberID=94

STATE OF OKLAHOMA
1st Session of the 51st Legislature (2007)
SENATE CONCURRENT RESOLUTION 3
By: Constance Johnson of the Senate
and Ray McCarter of the House

AS INTRODUCED

A Concurrent Resolution urging non-escalation of involvement in Iraq and other areas; requiring congressional approval prior to such action; and directing distribution.

WHEREAS, United States involvement in Iraq has resulted in the deaths of more than 3,000 U.S. soldiers, the wounding and disabling of more than 22,000 U.S. military personnel to date, and the deaths of countless other people; and

WHEREAS, according to the Massachusetts-based nonprofit National Priorities Project, Oklahoma is second only to Arkansas in the number of young men and women sent to the Army. Oklahoma contributed 1,296 of the 68,556 recruits signed by the Army in 2006, which represents a rate of more than two per 1,000 Oklahomans aged 15 to 24; and

WHEREAS, while American troops have valiantly upheld their duty in Iraq under dire circumstances, President George W. Bush has proposed an escalation in the number of U.S. troops deployed in Iraq, and in Oklahoma this will mean a third or fourth deployment for many of our soldiers; and

WHEREAS, such proposed escalation will further extend National Guard tours in Iraq and other areas. The significant cost to states of the call–up of National Guard members for deployment in Iraq and other areas is measured in lost lives; physical and emotional combat injuries; psychic trauma; disruption and distraction of family life; individual, family, and business financial hardships; interruption of careers; and damage to the fabric of civic life in our communities. The cost of rehabilitation support services to assist our soldiers to effectively and successfully reintegrate back into society alone will be staggering; and

WHEREAS, more than $375 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 state and in communities throughout the United States, or more peaceful oriented humanitarian assistance abroad. 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 payment, will likely lead to even larger cuts in funding for critical needs in the states, such as resources to combat the wildfires caused by Oklahoma’s drought and the devastation caused by recent ice storms; and

WHEREAS, recent polls show that the vast majority of Americans do not support increasing the number of troops in Iraq, and that most military experts, including the Joint Chiefs of Staff, oppose escalation in Iraq as a strategy. 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 designated power of the purse.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE 1ST SESSION OF THE 51ST OKLAHOMA LEGISLATURE, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN:

THAT the Oklahoma State Legislature, on behalf of its citizens, urges 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 U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, the United States government should not escalate its involvement in Iraq and other areas.

THAT the Oklahoma State Legislature believes that, at a minimum, President Bush should obtain explicit approval from Congress before sending more American troops to Iraq and that the United States Congress should pass legislation prohibiting the President from spending taxpayer dollars on an escalation in Iraq unless first gaining congressional approval.

THAT a copy of this resolution be distributed to United States President George W. Bush, and to the Oklahoma Congressional delegation.

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