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Congress War Debate Brings Thoughts of Dollar Signs to NH

January 29, 2007

Congress will be at war over the Iraq war this week, in the continuing debate about whether to send a message to President Bush that his plan to dedicate more troops and money to the conflict is not the right move for success.

The escalating costs, in terms of lives and dollars, have been the focus of anti-war demonstrations in New Hampshire, and nationwide, over the weekend. Melissa Bernardin, grassroots director for Priorities New Hampshire says the war already has cost Granite State taxpayers $1.5 billion.

"With the money our state has spent on the war, we could have built housing for more than 11,000 working families, or built more than 100 elementary schools."

A Senate panel already has approved a resolution denouncing President Bush's new Iraq "troop surge" plan, but that cannot stop President Bush from carrying it out, and Vice President Dick Cheney has made clear that it won't. Both insist that additional troops are needed.

Bernardin says the Iraq situation may still be salvaged, but not with more expensive war-related action by the U.S.

"Spending more money on the Iraq civil war is not only wasteful, it's a lost opportunity."

Data on the costs of the Iraq war can be found online at www.nationalpriorities.org.

Deborah Smith/Jamie Folsom, Public News Service - NH