Washington, DC – House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) released the following statement today concerning the Iraqi Parliament’s plan to take summer recess before passing key pieces of legislation:

            “I commend the Iraqi Parliament for showing the determination and will to establish a system of government that will pave the way for Iraq to grow into a strong democratic society.  I am concerned, however, that going home for an extended summer recess without reaching agreement on key pieces of legislation will show the world that their determination is not as strong as those who are fighting and dying to support their efforts.  

            “While U.S. forces remain in Iraq to provide security and training for the Iraqi Security Forces, the key to truly establishing a strong Iraq is political progress.  Without reaching agreement on several political benchmarks, including regulating Iraq’s oil industry, ending the ban on former Baath party members serving in government jobs and passing constitutional amendments, significant roadblocks to that political progress will remain. 

            “I encourage the Iraqi Parliament to reconsider its plan to recess when such significant work remains undone.  Not only will achieving these political goals help Iraq stand more firmly as a politically sound nation, but it will help bring our men and women in uniform home sooner.”