Bush $82 billion war fund request targets those in need at home, says Green Party congressional candidate

SACRAMENTO (February 15, 2005) – President Bush's request for another $82 billion in war funds should be rejected by Congress until he lays out a plan to end the war, and restore budget cuts for the needy in the U.S., according to Green Party congressional candidate Pat Driscoll.

The bulk of the spending package announced by Bush on Valentine's Day would be used to fund the day-to-day cost of the war in Iraq while ignoring the needs of Californians and all Americans here at home, Driscoll said.

"We are told the country cannot afford health care for all, and that the social security system is underfunded, yet the President and Congress can find enough money to pay for the quagmire in Iraq," said Driscoll. "There is funding for social programs, if we would just stop the killing in Iraq."

Driscoll is a candidate in a March 8 special election in Sacramento to fill a vacancy in the 5th Congressional District after 14-term incumbent Robert Matsui (D) died Jan. 1.

The administration quietly released a list of the domestic programs it intended to cut this week, including $18 million for the National Youth Sports Program, which has provided athletics,tutoring, drug and alcohol abuse prevention and comprehensive medical exams for low-income children for more than three decades. The administration would also eliminate a program to repair "severely distressed" public housing and reduce grants for Section 8 vouchers, and kill seven health programs for emergency medical services for children, traumatic brain injury and newborn hearing screening.

"These programs and many others targeted by President Bush and a willing Congress are being sacrificed to continue the killing on both sides in Iraq. It is time for an immediate cease fire in Iraq, and the peaceful withdrawal of U.S. troops. We could then begin the rebuilding of social programs not only here in the U.S., but in Iraq,"added Driscoll.

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Februar 2005

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