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The President’s War vs. Our Communities and Families

Guest Speaker Nancy Pelosi

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Guest Speaker Nancy Pelosi

With his veto of the Labor-Health-Education Appropriations bill this week, the President has said that we cannot afford to provide families with winter heating assistance, ensure health care at community health centers, or help students afford college by increasing the maximum Pell Grant. At the same time as he calls these key initiatives “excessive,” the President continues to stay the course in the war with Iraq, which costs us $330 million every day.


For the same amount we spend in only 41 ½ minutes in Iraq, we could fund programs for veterans with traumatic brain injuries ($9.5 million). For the cost of one week in Iraq, we could fund heating assistance for low-income families this winter ($2.4 billion). And for the same amount we spend in 21 days in Iraq, we could fund the Head Start program that ensures children are ready to learn when they begin school ($7 billion).


The Democratic-led Congress will continue working to pass this legislation in order to fund these critical domestic initiatives. This is a debate about values – whether we will fund the President’s misguided war, or strengthen our communities and our families.


Below are some examples of key priorities in the Labor-Health-Education Appropriations bill that the President vetoed compared with how many days in Iraq that money would pay for, based on an estimate by the Congressional Research Service that we are spending $330 million in Iraq every day.





$30 billion – National Institutes of Health: Life Saving Medical Research

(3 Months In Iraq)


$14.8 billion – Title I: Education for the Disadvantaged

(45 Days In Iraq)


$11.3 billion – IDEA State Grants: Special Education

(34 Days In Iraq)


$7.0 billion – Head Start: Early Childhood Education

(21 Days In Iraq)


$3.4 billion – Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services for Veterans

(10 Days In Iraq)


$2.4 billion – LIHEAP: Heating Assistance for Low Income Families

(1 Week In Iraq)


$2.2 billion – Community Health Centers

(6 ¾ Days In Iraq)


$1.5 billion – Job Training & Career Placement Dislocated Workers

(4 ½ Days In Iraq)


$1.2 billion – Career & Vocational Education

(3 ½ Days In Iraq)


$1.1 billion – 21st Century Learning Centers: After School Programs

(3 ½ Days In Iraq)


$228 million – Veterans’ Employment Programs

(16 ½ Hours In Iraq)


$23.6 million – Homeless Veterans Services

(1 ¾ Hours In Iraq)


$9.5 million – Programs for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injuries

(41 ½ Minutes In Iraq)

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