Washington, D.C.–(ENEWSPF)– Karl Rove brought his misinformation tour to Meet the Press by making false claims about the Iraq war and the use of reconciliation to pass health care reform legislation.
Rove falsely claimed it "was not" Bush policy "to go into Iraq and take their" oil revenues "to pay for the cost of the war"
From the March 14 edition of NBC’s Meet the Press:
TOM BROKAW (guest host): And Mr. Rove, there was also sharp criticism, and justified, from a lot of quarters of the management of the war once you did go to war. The insurgency was more swiftly activated on the part of those Islamics who wanted to fight back. We were not greeted as liberators beyond the first couple of days. We didn’t have enough troops to provide internal security. The cost of the war skyrocketed almost from the beginning. There was not a sharing of the oil revenue that a lot of people had promised, including the vice president.
ROVE: Let me correct you. There — you’ve put it down a lot of things here. I’ll be happy to deal with them serially or together, whichever you like. But for example, on that one, the administration emphatically said this was not about oil. And we thought right from the beginning —
BROKAW: No, no, not about oil, but it was about —
ROVE: Let me finish.
BROKAW: — how we would share oil revenue and it would help offset the cost of the war.
ROVE: No. No, no. Tom, with all due respect, that was not the policy of our government, that we were going to go into Iraq and take their resource in order to pay for the cost of the war.
BROKAW: But it would be part of the consequence of getting the country stabilized.
ROVE: No. Part of the consequence would be that Saddam Hussein, who used the oil market to manipulate prices and deny supplies to the West, would no longer be in a position to do that. But the suggestion that somehow or another the administration had as its policy, "We’re going to go into Iraq and take their resource and pay for the war," is not [unintelligible]
BROKAW: I didn’t say that. What I said was that there would be an oil sharing and the revenue from that would help offset the cost of the war. And I didn’t stay it was a principal factor, but it was part of the larger scheme.
ROVE: No, with all due respect, we’re simply going to disagree on this.
Fact: Bush administration officials said "the bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis," including "oil revenues"
Rumsfeld: "[T]he bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis," including "oil revenues." In an October 2, 2003, news briefing, then-Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld discussed President Bush’s request for $87 billion in funding for the "global war on terror," $21 billion dollars of which Rumsfeld declared was "to help Afghanistan and Iraq secure their nation’s freedom." Rumsfeld added: "The $20 billion the president requested is not intended to cover all of Iraq’s needs. The bulk of the funds for Iraq’s reconstruction will come from Iraqis — from oil revenues, recovered assets, international trade, direct foreign investment, as well as some contributions we’ve already received and hope to receive from the international community."
Wolfowitz: "We’re dealing with a country that could really finance its own reconstruction." As Think Progress noted, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz testified before Congress on March 27, 2003, that "the oil revenues of that country [Iraq] could bring between 50 and 100 billion dollars over the course of the next two or three years. Now, there are a lot of claims on that money, but that’s — we’re not dealing with Afghanistan that’s a permanent ward of the international community. We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
Fleisher: Iraq "is a rather wealthy country" that has the "means" to "shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction." As Think Progress also noted, in a February 18, 2003, press conference, then-White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said of reconstruction costs: "Iraq, unlike Afghanistan, is a rather wealthy country. Iraq has tremendous resources that belong to the Iraqi people. And so there are a variety of means that Iraq has to be able to shoulder much of the burden for their own reconstruction."
State Department suggested Iraqi "oil revenue" could "finance reconstruction with development itself, given its oil revenue." In an October 4, 2002, press briefing then-Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs Richard Boucher was asked whether the Iraq "working groups … include[d] a financial component on how it would be funded and talks about whether that would be something the US would fund or the donor community." He replied, "I’m sure as they face each of these challenges they have to talk about the financing challenges, and obviously in some areas it’s more likely Iraq would be able to finance reconstruction with development itself, given its oil revenue; in some areas, there might be needs."
Rove falsely claimed that reconciliation will "circumvent the normal order of business"
From Meet the Press:
BROKAW: But the fact of the matter is, we don’t know the exact definition of the final bill, because it’ll go through this complicated process, get to reconciliation, some of the costs will be addressed there.
ROVE: And isn’t that amazing? We’re asking people of the U.S. House of Representatives not to vote on the bill, but to vote on a placeholder, and the final terms of this huge measure affecting one-sixth of our economy will be defined later, perhaps in a bill in the Senate designed to circumvent the normal order of business. That’s a pretty remarkable way to try and go pass a big piece of legislation without bipartisan support.
Fact: Reconciliation is already part of Senate procedure, and Republicans have used it repeatedly
Reconciliation process is part of congressional budget process. The budget reconciliation process is defined by the U.S. House Committee on Rules as "part of the congressional budget process … utilized when Congress issues directives to legislate policy changes in mandatory spending (entitlements) or revenue programs (tax laws) to achieve the goals in spending and revenue contemplated by the budget resolution."
Republicans repeatedly used reconciliation to pass Bush’s agenda. Republicans used the budget reconciliation process to pass Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts as well as the 2005 "Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act." The Senate also used the procedure to pass a bill containing a provision that would permit oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. (The final version of that bill signed by Bush did not contain the provision on drilling.)
Fact: Reconciliation has been used to pass major changes to health care laws
Reconciliation has repeatedly been used to reform the health care system. On February 24, NPR noted that many "major changes to health care laws" have passed via reconciliation. These measures include COBRA, which allows laid-off workers to keep their insurance coverage, and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program:
On NPR, Rosenbaum stated, "[T]he way in which virtually all of health reform … has happened over the past 30 years has been the reconciliation process." During the February 24 broadcast of NPR’s Morning Edition, health policy correspondent Julie Rovner quoted George Washington University professor Sara Rosenbaum saying: "In fact, the way in which virtually all of health reform, with very, very limited exceptions, has happened over the past 30 years has been the reconciliation process."
Source: Media Matters for America.
Used with permission.