Monday, April 12, 2010

Vote NO on the $30 billion Supplemental War Appropriations

My letter to members of Congress requesting a NO vote on the $30 billion supplemental appropriations request.

I am writing to urge you, to beg you to vote NO to a $30 billion war supplemental requested by President Obama.

I KNOW that candidate Obama said that Afghanistan was the “right” war so I am not surprised, although I am terribly distressed with the increase in troop levels.  I KNOW that candidate Obama said he would end emergency supplemental appropriations for war. I gave President Obama a pass when he submitted his first supplemental appropriations in April 2009 because I KNOW that a president finds out more information once he takes office.

However, on April 9, 2009, in the early years of his presidency, President Obama wrote a letter to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi requesting Congressional approval for a supplemental appropriations request totaling $83.4 billion.

As he made that request, he also wrote- As I noted when first I introduced my budget in February, this is the last planned war supplemental. Since September 2001, the Congress has passed 17 separate emergency funding bills totaling $822.1 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. After 7 years of war, the American people deserve an honest accounting of the cost of our involvement in our ongoing military operations.

We must break that recent tradition and include future military costs in the regular budget so that we have an honest, more accurate, and fiscally responsible estimate of Federal spending. And we should not label military costs as emergency funds so as to avoid our responsibility to abide by the spending limitations set forth by the Congress.

When will the requests for supplemental appropriations for death and killing end?  When will Congress and our President be honest with the American people and the parents of those who send their son’s and daughter’s to war?

With all the uproar surrounding the passage of the Healthcare bill, and with thousands of hours spent discussing the costs of Healthcare, I am begging you to spend the same time considering the financial costs of these 2 quagmires, these “long wars” as the former administration described them.

But finally, I urge you from the bottom of my mother’s heart to please consider the human cost of these wars. My son, 1Lt Ken Ballard was the 818th US casualty in Iraq.  When Ken was killed in 2004 I could not imagine that we would still be fighting  these wars 6 years later.  I couldn’t imagine that our country would suffer 4000 more casualties and that Iraqis would suffer countless more.  If you vote yes, I cannot imagine how many more families will hear the words “On behalf of the President of the United States, I regret to inform you…”

PLEASE VOTE NO! Please fund the swift and safe withdrawal of all of our troops, and de-fund the continuation and escalation of these wars!

Karen Meredith
Gold Star Mother

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