The Washington Post reported today that a record number of active duty soldiers committed suicide last year. To help combat this growing problem, Senators Barack Obama and Chuck Hagel joined Senator Tom Harkin to introduce the Armed Forces Suicide Prevention Act in the Senate today.
The legislation would direct the Department of Defense to create a comprehensive suicide prevention program and include annual training for soldiers, improved instruction for field medics, and post deployment assistance. In the House of Representatives, Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell is introducing a similar bill.
Last November, Senator Harkin wrote and helped pass into law the Josh Omvig Suicide Prevention Act that directed the Department of Veterans Affairs to integrate mental health services into veterans' primary care, and step up counseling and other mental health services for returning war veterans and their families.
With new data showing that suicide among active duty troops serving in Iraq and Afghanistan is on the rise, Senator Harkin is moving quickly to introduce legislation next week to prevent suicide among the brave men and women who are actively serving our country.
Senator Tom Harkin released the following statement today in reaction to President Bush's economic stimulus package:
"I am encouraged to see that the President agrees that we certainly need a stimulus package. Far too many families are struggling for us not to act. The President’s next steps are just as important as his speech today. I urge him to work with Congress to ensure that the final proposal funnels help to working families and creates jobs immediately. A significant part of the package should put Americans to work to repair our schools and rebuild our public facilities and infrastructure."
It was six years ago that the Bush Administration began imprisoning detainees at the Guantanamo Bay prison. Approximately 275 detainees remain indefinitely detained at the prison, isolated from scrutiny, and prevented any right to due process, judicial review, or a fair trial.
Let me be clear: the detainees at Guantanamo who are enemies of the U.S. should be charged, tried and, if convicted, should be punished.
CNN.com is reporting that Democrats bested the Republican turnout in the Iowa Caucuses by a 2:1 margin with 227,000 attending the Democratic caucus and 120,000 attending the Republican caucus:
With such a close race on both sides, voter turnout was key. The Iowa Democratic Party reported seeing record turnout. The party said there were at least 227,000 caucus attendees. The Iowa GOP projects that 120,000 people took part in the Republican caucuses.
Tom Harkin was on Bloomberg TV to talk about the Iowa Caucus and the 2008 Presidential Race. Click the read more to watch the video.
I congratulate Senator Obama for winning the Iowa Caucuses and I salute all of our Democratic candidates for their hard work.
But the biggest winners of the night were the people of Iowa and our Democratic party.