Velazquez Introduces Bill to Cut off Funding for the Iraq War
NEW YORK – With the country moving into the fifth year of the conflict in Iraq and Americans, particularly New Yorkers, becoming increasingly frustrated with a war that has no end in sight, new legislation was introduced to end the fighting. Even while the American death toll nears 4,000 – including over 150 from New York – the Bush Administration continues to refuse to listen to calls for a withdrawal. Today, Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-N.Y.) joined with returning veterans, family members and local advocates to introduce The Opt Out of Iraq War Act of 2007, which would put the power to decide in the hands of the American people.
“The Administration has shown us that it doesn’t matter what Congress does, how many people come out in opposition, or how many lives this war costs, they will not listen to our calls to bring the troops home,” said Congresswoman Velázquez. “That is why I am introducing this legislation, which will give people the power to demonstrate their opposition with the one thing that will force the administration to stop and listen – the tax dollars that are funding this war.”
The Opt Out of Iraq War Act of 2007 will give taxpayers the ability to stop paying for military involvement in Iraq. Tax dollars could only be applied in Iraq for the withdrawal of U.S. personnel and infrastructure, and for humanitarian and other non-military assistance to the Iraqis. Without the tax dollars of the American people, the Administration will be unable to pay for the war and will be forced to withdraw.
“Our brave servicemen and women have sacrificed too much already for a war that was ill-conceived and poorly managed,” said Congresswoman Velázquez. “The best way to support them is to bring them home and if the American people make the choice to stop the funding, we can end this now.”
Not only is this war taking a toll on our military resources, but it is draining funding for domestic priorities as well. That is why The Opt Out of Iraq War Act of 2007 will divert tax dollars currently being spent in Iraq into investing in the future of the country. The money will be used to reduce the national debt, finance Head Start, and to create the ‘Children of Iraq War Veterans College Fund,’ which would provide college tuition and support for children of Iraqi veterans who have been wounded or killed. This proposal will give the American people the power to use their tax dollars for priorities at home, rather than on a costly and ineffective war overseas.
“Almost $475 billion has been used to fund this war, while the national debt has grown to $8.8 trillion - we need to start using that money to invest in the future of our nation,” said Congresswoman Velázquez. “The administration has ignored all our prior attempts and has forced us to take this new tactic. I urge my colleagues to listen to the will of the people, and allow them to stop funding this war.”