Representative Granger Returns from Iraq Visit - September 30, 2003
|September 30, 2003|
Congresswoman Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth) returned late last night from a weekend trip to Iraq. Granger was part of a Congressional Delegation led by Defense Appropriations Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Lewis.
It was the largest delegation to visit Iraq since the commencement of Operation Iraqi Freedom. The purpose of the trip was to conduct oversight on the Administration’s recent supplemental request for $87 billion to fund military operations and reconstruction activities in Iraq.
Granger, a member of the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee and House Select Homeland Security Committee, spent two long days in Iraq, primarily in Baghdad and Mozul, which is in the northern part of the country.
The delegation had a busy schedule which consisted of visits with U.S. and Coalition officials, members of the Iraqi Governing Council, military constituents, and several site visits and tours.
"Having been to Iraq, seen the progress that is being made, I stand firm for our troops. We must help the Iraqis by creating opportunity," said Granger. "The only way to create opportunity for them is to rebuild their infrastructure and support the Iraqi government leaders."
Granger met with officials from the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) and members of the U.S. military command in one of Saddam Hussein’s former palaces in Baghdad. Hussein had an estimated 90 palaces throughout the country.
CPA oficials briefed the members on the status of the security situation in Iraq and the progress of Iraqi self-governance.
Delegation Members visited a mass grave site outside of Baghdad in Al Hillah. Coalition forces have found several similar sites in the country where thousands are buried, including women and children.
The second day in country, Rep. Granger returned to Baghdad and also visited Mosul. In Baghdad, the delegation visited Al Doura power plant where the surveyed they dilapidated conditions of the plant which has suffered decades of neglect under the former regime. Coalition forces have been working with Iraqi officials to rehabilitate and increase the electrical production at the plant.
Members also visited the Al Yarmuk hospital in Baghdad where they witnessed heart-wrenching conditions and discussed the CPA’s joint efforts with Iraqi health officials to improve and modernize the hospital’s health care delivery systems.
The Congressional delegation included: Chairman Jerry Lewis (R-CA), Rep. Norm Dicks (D-WA), Rep. James Walsh (R-NY), Rep. Henry Bonilla (R-TX), Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA), Rep. Tim Holden (D-PA), Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), Rep. George Nethercutt (R-WA), Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-KA), Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL), Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA), Rep. Don Sherwood, (R-PA), Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA), Rep. Mark Kirk (R-IL), Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA).