AFGHANISTAN
(House of Representatives - November 19, 2013)

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[Page H7194]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




                              AFGHANISTAN

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
North Carolina (Mr. Jones) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. JONES. Mr. Speaker, again I am on the floor today to talk about 
the ongoing discussion between the United States and Afghanistan 
regarding a 10-year bilateral strategic agreement to allow troops to 
remain overseas beyond the year 2014.
  Multiple news organizations have reported that talks on the agreement 
have stalled because of the unwillingness of the Afghan Government to 
let the American military search Afghan homes. Two senior Afghan 
officials went so far as to tell The New York Times that the 
negotiations had reached a profound impasse.
  Mr. Speaker, I would like to submit for the Record a letter that I 
have written to the President of the United States regarding this 
issue.
  This agreement will force the United States to continue paying 
trillions of tax dollars to support the Afghans' President Karzai, a 
corrupt government which we cannot afford any longer. As it is, 
taxpayers in the United States have been paying $10.45 million every 
hour for the cost of the war in Afghanistan since 2001. Let me repeat 
that. Taxpayers in the United States have been paying $10.45 million 
every hour for the cost of the war in Afghanistan since 2001. This is 
unacceptable, especially at a time when this national debt is at an 
astounding $17 trillion and when we have been forced to make deep 
budget cuts in the United States.
  Just this past weekend, tornadoes in Illinois killed six people. Last 
year, we watched the devastation on the east coast that resulted from 
Hurricane Sandy. These national disasters represent only one area in 
which we could use the money that we are sending to Afghanistan to help 
the American people right here. In addition, the bilateral strategic 
agreement will expose our troops to considerable dangers and will risk 
the loss of additional American lives, all without the approval of 
Congress.
  At the very least, we in Congress should vote as to whether we agree 
with this agreement or not. It is not required by the Constitution, but 
we who oversee the spending of the taxpayers' money should demand that 
the leadership of the House in both parties have a vote, if nothing 
more than a resolution, that we do support this bilateral strategic 
agreement or we do not support it.
  Mr. Speaker, I am here again today with my poster that is just such a 
sad commentary on Afghanistan. It is the cartoon of a little Mr. Karzai 
drawing money out of a money machine--which is being paid for by the 
taxpayers, by the way--and his comment is, ``I am just making a quick 
withdrawal.''

                              {time}  1030

  Sadly, too, behind him is an American soldier whose thoughts are 
this: ``I would like to make a quick withdrawal from here.''
  Mr. Speaker, it is time for this Congress to wake up and take care of 
America's problems and not Afghanistan's problems. A 10-year agreement 
is unacceptable and we need to come together in a bipartisan way to 
send a message to the administration that we do not support this 
agreement, and we come together, Republicans and Democrats.
  I would close by asking God to please continue to bless our men and 
women in uniform and ask God to please continue to bless America.

                                                November 18, 2013.
     President Barack Obama,
     The White House,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Mr. President: I write today due to the ongoing 
     discussion between the United States and Afghanistan 
     regarding a 10-year Bilateral Security Agreement to allow our 
     troops to remain overseas beyond 2014. Multiple news 
     organizations have reported that talks on the agreement have 
     stalled because of the unwillingness of the Afghan government 
     to allow the American military to search Afghan homes.
       Mr. President, this agreement will force the United States 
     to continue paying trillions of tax dollars to support Afghan 
     President Hamid Karzai's corrupt government. This is 
     unacceptable, particularly at a time when the national debt 
     is an astonishing 17 trillion dollars and we have been forced 
     to make deep budget cuts at home. More importantly, allowing 
     our troops to remain in Afghanistan exposes them to 
     considerable danger and risks the loss of additional American 
     lives--all without the approval of Congress. At the very 
     least, a vote should be allowed to ensure that Congress 
     exercises its constitutional responsibility of oversight of 
     the expenditure of taxpayer money.
       Considering these points, I implore you to reconsider the 
     Bilateral Security Agreement and prevent both the loss of 
     precious American lives and the waste, fraud, and abuse of 
     American money overseas.
           Sincerely,
                                                  Walter B. Jones,
     Member of Congress.

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