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December 15th, 2011
Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Grijalva, Peace and Security Task Force Head Honda Hail U.S. Military Withdrawal From Iraq

Washington, D.C. – Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva, the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC), and Mike Honda, who chairs the CPC Peace and Security Task Force, today released the following statement on the end of U.S. military involvement in Iraq:

“Wejoin President Obama in saluting the end of the war in Iraqand looking forward to the return of all U.S. by December 31. After nine years of war in Iraq, every American should be happy to hear that our troops are coming home to their families and that Iraq is on its way to independence.

At this moment, we commemorate the men and women who have given their lives in this conflictand we salute our troops and their families who have served and sacrificed over the past nine years.We also remember the large number of Iraqi civilian casualties in this war, now estimated at over 100,000.

We call on Congress to ensure that Iraq veterans find employment when they return to civilian life. No one who fought for America overseas should have to fight for a job when they come home. And we urge our colleagues to join us in making veterans’ health care a legislative priority. We must build on the progress made by our previous, Democratically-led Congress in strengthening veterans’ health care by providing the largest single increase in funding in the history of the Department of Veterans Affairs. No one who fought for America overseas should have to fight for the care they need when they come home.

We thank President Obamafor insisting on keeping his national security promises – ending our military presence in Iraq and ending the threats from al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden.

Westaunchly opposed and voted against the Iraq war from the beginning. Our constituents have been tired of this warfor years. They understand that our troops were put in harm’s way for too long.They understand that our troops – even National Guard units – were subjected to multiple consecutive deployments and were initially sent into the war zone without adequate vehicles and body armor.They understand that we spent inordinate taxpayer dollars fighting a war that should have never been waged.They understand that our economy suffered as a result of our resources being poured into this war.With the end of the Iraq War, it’s time to invest in the American people – creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and eradicating economic inequality in America.

We have reached a critical milestone for America with the end of the Iraq war.Now it’s time to work with the Iraqi people as they stabilize their country and become a completely independent government.Most importantly, we must now end the war in Afghanistan, commit to economic opportunity here at home and build an American future worthy of our veterans’ sacrifice.”

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