Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Sowers: We must have jobs for returning veterans

Tommy Sowers, Democratic candidate for Eighth District Congress, released the following statement concerning the end of combat missions in Iraq:

“With the end of combat missions in Iraq, it’s an important moment to stop and thank the veterans that served, as well as take stock of where America stands. I served two tours in Iraq as a Green Beret, and was proud to stand with Iraqis during their first free and fair elections back in 2005. But we still have a long way to go, and 50,000 troops will stay in Iraq along with over 100,000 contractors.

“A report on Iraq in yesterday’s Southeast Missourian estimated that $5 billion has vanished in poorly overseen military contracts. While the Constitution gives the power of the purse to the House, incumbents have given the purse away. It is going to take a leader and a vet to put an end to wasteful military contracting, and when elected, I plan to lead on this important issue. We simply cannot afford to waste money overseas with a massive debt of $13 trillion threatening us at home.

“We honor our veterans by welcoming them home with educational and job opportunities. Yet today, Iraq and Afghanistan vets face unemployment levels 50% above the national average. We’ve got to have jobs available for our vets when they return home. When elected, I’ll start by pushing Congress to renegotiate the trade deals that Jo Ann Emerson voted for that subsequently shipped our jobs to China and south of the border. And that’s just the start. We need to invest in 21st century infrastructure across Southeast Missouri to create the right environment for job creation.

“Our vets also deserve high-quality healthcare. I learned how to lead by example in the military and once elected, I’ll stay on VA health care and not take the Cadillac health care program members of Congress give themselves. This will ensure that I always know firsthand how our vets are being treated."

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