Senate Democrats

Reid Actuality: Democrats Ready to Give Veterans the Care They Deserve

Washington, DC – The Senate Democratic Communications Center released the following actuality featuring Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid stating Democrats’ disappointment with the President’s speech on Iraq and reiterating how Democrats are leading the charge to fix the Veterans’ health care shortfall.

Actuality is available for download at:

http://democrats.gov/actualities/reid/reid050629.mp3

The text of Senator Reid’s actuality follows:

Like millions of Americans, I was disappointed last night that the president once again missed an important opportunity to level with the American people about the situation in Iraq. Instead of laying out a strategy for success, the president resorted to his favorite tactic whenever the American people question his policies: wrapping himself in the events of 9/11 and wrongly linking this tragedy with the war in Iraq.

It is long past time that we stop hearing excuses and misleading rhetoric about the situation in Iraq. It’s time he talks straight with the American people and lays out a clear strategy with benchmarks by which our progress can be measured.

Like all Americans, I stand with our troops and will do whatever I can to ensure that they have all that they need to fight this war and receive the health care they deserve when they return home.

Not only did the president fail to lay out a clear success strategy for the war in Iraq last night, but he failed to come clean about how this Administration shortchanged veterans’ health care by $2.6 billion in just this year alone.

Yesterday we learned just how the Bush Administration miscalculated the needs of our troops. The Veterans Administration underestimated the number of troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan by about 80,000. And what is even more frustrating to me, like so many of you, is that this is just the latest example of how poorly this administration planned this war and its aftermath.

At a time when hundreds of thousands of veterans were returning home in need and deserving health care, the Bush Administration failed to provide the additional resources to care for the newest generation of veterans. Senate Republicans found time to pursue their radical agenda of extremist judges and intervene in the most private and personal decision of a family, but they couldn’t find the time to support our deserving veterans.

Democrats have been leading the charge to make sure our soldiers receive the treatment they need when they return home from war, and today Democrats will lead the Senate in correcting this administration’s mistakes by honoring the services that our men and women in uniform have provided and the care they deserve and badly need.