Steve Andreasen

Congress Must Ask Tough Questions on Iraq


(Rochester, Minnesota) Steve Andreasen, the DFL candidate for Congress in Minnesota's First Congressional District, welcomed President Bush's commitment Wednesday to seek approval from Congress before taking military action in Iraq and stressed the importance of a public debate.

"No issue will have a greater impact on our security, our economy, and peace in the Middle East as the question of whether to wage war against Iraq," Andreasen said. "The President's commitment to seek the approval of Congress before launching military operations insures a forthright discussion over whether war with Iraq is in our national interest."

Andreasen also underscored the need for Congress to take the opportunity to ask tough questions before such a vote. "The First District's Representative in Congress needs to do more than simply say, as he did last week, that he knows more about Iraq than reporters; the President knows a lot more than he does; and he is glad that he doesn't sit in the Oval Office," said Andreasen. "He may not sit in the Oval Office, but he does have a seat in Congress, and the people of southern Minnesota expect him to represent their concerns. He does the President - and the nation - no favors by simply deferring to his judgment. Now's the time to ask the tough questions, before the United States has committed its youth, its resources, and its prestige overseas."

Andreasen said that as a Member of Congress, he would encourage the President to make a maximum effort to return weapons inspectors to Iraq with strengthened authority, and to seek support from the UN Security Council before launching any military action against Saddam Hussein. "The U.S. needs to be careful not to isolate itself in the process of making preparations for war in Iraq," said Andreasen. "The price of unilateral action may be too high if it means we lose the support of our Allies and other key countries for our long-term war against terror."

Andreasen lives in Rochester. Prior to running for Congress, he was the Director of Defense Policy and Arms Control on the National Security Council staff at the White House from 1993-2001. He also served in the Bush Sr. and Reagan Administrations. He is a national security consultant and is writing a book on nuclear weapons, arms control and missile defense policy.

Paid for and authorized by Andreasen for Congress