Hoyer on Joint Economic Committee Report on Hidden Costs of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

For Immediate Release:

November 13, 2007

Contact:Stacey Farnen Bernards
(202) 225 - 3130

WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) joined Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY), and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) this morning to release a report by the Joint Economic Committee on the real costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Below are his remarks as prepared for delivery:

 
“I want to thank the Joint Economic Committee - especially Chairman Schumer and Vice Chair Maloney - for compiling this very important report.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen, the war in Iraq has taken a tremendous toll on this nation in blood and treasure – costs that are hard to even fathom.
 
“President Bush said this war would cost $50 billion to $60 billion.
 
“Lawrence Lindsey, then the top White House Economic Advisor, had the audacity to say it could cost $200 billion.  And for his candor, Lindsey was shown the door.
 
“Today’s report shows that the true cost of this war will be many times greater than even Larry Lindsey could have predicted.
 
“Let’s be clear: we will and we must pay whatever it costs to protect the American people.  But, tragically, unfortunately, incredibly, this war is not making us safer. 
 
“As this report documents, the ramifications of this policy, which former Commander in Iraq General Sanchez called ‘catastrophically flawed,’ are far-reaching and long-lasting.
 
“The JEC’s work exposes the President’s misplaced priorities.
 
“The President recently demanded a $200 billion blank check for his failing policy in Iraq and the war in Afghanistan. 
 
“Yet he refuses to work with bipartisan majorities in Congress to increase investment in priorities here at home, such as our nation’s health care system, schools and community safety, by $23 billion – or about one-tenth what he is asking for Iraq and Afghanistan this year alone.
“Furthermore, this report exposes the President’s newfound rhetoric about fiscal responsibility for precisely what it is - political posturing, pure and simple.
 
“The President has run this war on borrowed money, leaving it to future generations to pay for this generation’s security bills, and increasing its total cost through interest payments on the debt he has created.
 
“President Bush has requested a total of $607 billion for Iraq alone - for a total real cost of $1.2 trillion.
 
“This report reinforces our belief that a responsible redeployment of American forces in Iraq is the best path forward for our country.
 
“Democrats will continue to push the president to change course in Iraq.  And it is long past time for Congressional Republicans to put down their rubber-stamps, to assess our failing policy in a clear-eyed manner, and to join us in demanding a new direction in Iraq.”
 

READ THE REPORT HERE.

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