Ruppersberger Meets with Troops in Middle East
(Baghdad, Iraq) — Congressman C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger, an appropriator who serves on the House defense subcommittee, last week traveled to Iraq, Turkey and Lebanon to meet with U.S. troops on the frontlines who are working with allies to combat ISIS. Congressman Ruppersberger was accompanied by Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, the Republican Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on the week-long trip.
Plans to cross the border into Syria were scrapped following U.S. military action in response to the recent chemical weapons attack. The trip came as Republicans and Democrats scramble to avoid a government shutdown when the current – and temporary – funding bill expires April 28.
“I was in the Middle East to hear directly from military and diplomatic leaders about what’s working and what’s not,” Congressman Ruppersberger said. “One thing is clear: The Department of Defense needs a full 2017 budget, and not another continuing resolution. We must fully equip our troops and maintain our diplomatic efforts. We never want our soldiers to walk into an unfair fight.”
In Iraq, the pair met with Ambassador Douglas Silliman as well as service members from Maryland stationed at Qayyarah Airfield in Mosul, where they are advising and assisting Iraqi forces in their battle to retake their city from ISIS. In Baghdad, they met with Iraqi President Fuad Masaum and Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. In Turkey, Congressman Ruppersberger visited a U.S. refugee resettlement facility in Istanbul and spoke with Syrian refugees about the extensive vetting process required to gain entry to the U.S.
“As always, I was deeply humbled and proud to meet with servicemen and women on the frontlines and thank them for putting their lives on the line to protect our nation from the threat of terrorism,” Congressman Ruppersberger said.
Congressman Ruppersberger is the former Ranking Member of the House Intelligence Committee and has met with American troops serving around the world. This was his second time in Iraq in less than a year. In August, Congressman Ruppersberger traveled to Afghanistan.