News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Tonight, President Bush addressed the nation on the status of our efforts in Iraq. Yesterday, in a letter, Murray and nearly 40 of her Senate Democratic colleagues called on the President to address the recently announced $1 billion shortfall in VA funding during his address this evening. The President failed to fulfill this request.

Senator Murray’s response to the President’s speech follows:

“Like all Americans, I am proud of the courage and dedication of our men and women in uniform. I join the President in his praise of the sacrifice they have made to protect our freedom. We all owe our troops a debt of gratitude for their service and heroism.

But we owe our troops more than just words and photo-ops. We owe them the security of knowing that we will provide them with the care and benefits they both need and deserve when they return home.

Yesterday, along with many of my Senate colleagues, I sent a letter to the President asking that in his speech to the nation he level with the American people about the true costs of this war. In particular, I asked that he tell us how he plans to fix the $1 billion shortfall at the VA and reconfirm our promise to our troops that we will support them when they return home.

I am disappointed that the President failed to join me in my calls for immediate and additional funding for the VA and made no mention of how he plans to address the $1 billion shortfall. We have asked these brave men and women to sacrifice for our freedom and it is shameful that this Administration has refused to make them a priority.

Caring for our veterans is not a Republican or Democratic issue, it’s an American issue. As we prepare to celebrate the 4th of July, I call on the President to work with me to do the most patriotic thing we can do – fulfill our promise to care for America’s veterans.”