What does Iraq cost your family?

JUNE 26TH, 2007 | TomHarkin

As the war in Iraq continues in its 5th year, we continue to see the costs of the war here at home.

President Bush and his advisers promised that the human and financial cost of the war in Iraq would be minimal, but every day we see new examples of the war’s true cost.

Sadly it is often the case that the families of our brave military men and women serving in Iraq are hit hardest with the costs of the war in Iraq. As of this writing, over 52 Iowans and people with close ties to Iowa have died in Iraq from combat, illness or accident, causing tremendous hardship and immeasurable pain for their loved ones whom often now must confront all life’s challenges alone. Hundreds of Iowa families, whose loved ones have returned, must work doubly hard to ensure that their wounded heroes get the proper medical care.

Now more than ever we must shore up our domestic infrastructure to ensure that all Iowans, and all Americans, have the access they need to education programs for their children, community health care centers, and job training and labor programs to help train our workforce for jobs in today’s increasingly global and digital economy.

Last week, the Senate Appropriations committee approved my subcommittee’s bill to fund essential education, health and labor programs. I am proud to have written the bill that provides increased funding for medical research, Head Start, and community health centers to assist all Iowans.

Making the necessary investments in America’s health and education will exceed the President’s budget request by $9 billion, and the President has already stated that he will veto all bills that exceed his underfunded budget request. If the Labor-HHS bill is vetoed, it would jeopardize increases for nursing education, special education, and biomedical and cancer research.

For some perspective, consider this: The President objects that we exceeded his budget request by $9 billion for an entire year. But he is currently spending $8 billion per month in Iraq.

President Bush would rather spend $8 billion a month in Iraq than increase funding for critical domestic needs by $9 billion per year. That’s one cost of his war.

If you believe-as I do that we cannot continue to under-fund essential health and education programs here at home—then I hope you will stand with me.

Please take a moment to sign up to volunteer or contribute to my campaign.

-Sen. Tom Harkin

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