News Releases

“In the three years since the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, our country and Congress have stood together in staunch support of our men and women in uniform.

“Our troops are sacrificing every day on behalf of a grateful nation and the least we can provide are the resources they need to do their jobs safely and effectively.

“We all want to succeed in our mission in Iraq. We want to achieve our military and policy goals and to bring our troops home safely. We know that this will require sacrifice and that a U.S. presence will be required for some period of time. But despite these obvious facts, the Administration continues to operate from the pretense that the cost of this ongoing war is unknowable and thus requires emergency spending. It is disingenuous to continue to ask for “emergency” spending to pay for military action that has been ongoing for years.

“The continued adherence to this policy deliberately misleads the American people about the real costs of war.

“And we are not only seeing the cost of war on the battlefield and throughout our military. We are also seeing it in our VA hospitals, our classrooms, communities across the Gulf Coast, at our ports and borders, and in our roads and infrastructure.

“While we provide for our men and women fighting overseas, we also need to invest in the things that make us strong here at home.

“I am glad that the Senate Appropriations Committee today agreed to adopt my amendment and take the next step toward fulfilling our federal commitment to states along the Gulf Coast and around the country that are waiting on reimbursements to rebuild transportation infrastructure after natural disasters. Strong, safe roads, rails and bridges are critical to our economic growth and the productivity of our communities.

“But I remain disappointed in the refusal by the majority party and the Administration to pay for a critical cost of war – healthcare and support services for our nation’s veterans. When it comes to providing the battlefield resources to support our troops, Congress has been there. But I remain very concerned that when all of these new veterans come home and need medical care they’re going to be pushed into a VA system that doesn’t have the medical staff, facilities or funding to care for them.

“That’s why I have continually fought to include funding to care for our veterans. By denying the crisis at the VA, the majority is ignoring our responsibility to fully provide for the men and women who are risking their lives for our freedom.

“I will continue to fight for funding for the priorities that make us strong here at home – healthcare, education, security and infrastructure. And I will continue to call on this Administration to come clean about all the costs of this war and to invest in the future strength and security of our nation.”