Archive for Thursday, August 28, 2003

Moore berates policies on Iraq

August 28, 2003


President Bush ought to swallow his pride and do whatever is necessary to secure European financial and military support for the occupation of Iraq, U.S. Rep. Dennis Moore said Wednesday.

"We're the only superpower, but it's in our interest not to act that way to everybody else, because it will just make them angry at us," said Moore, a Democrat whose district includes parts of Lawrence, mostly east of Iowa Street. "We need, at this point, to swallow our pride and go back to our allies."

Moore voted for the U.S. resolution authorizing force in Iraq, but said Bush shouldn't have waited this long to gain cooperation of France, Germany and other countries.

The U.S. government spends $1 billion a week on the conflict in Iraq, he said. There have been 204 U.S. deaths in hostile action -- including two Wednesday -- since the operation began March 20; another 77 U.S. soldiers have died in nonhostile action in Iraq. More than 1,000 have been wounded in action in Iraq.

Moore was in Lawrence to tour the Crown Automotive dealership, 3400 S. Iowa, and speak at a Lawrence Chamber of Commerce event at the Hereford House, 4931 W. Sixth St.

The stops were among nearly 150 meetings Moore conducted this past month during a congressional recess.

Moore said people in the 3rd District, which takes in Johnson, Wyandotte and eastern Douglas counties, had expressed concern to him about the federal No Child Left Behind Act.

The act requires states to set math and writing achievement benchmarks for all students in each public school. The goal of the law is to have every student "proficient" in both subjects by 2014.

Teachers have given Moore an earful about decisions by Congress to underfund the act by $8 billion, Moore said. He voted for the law.

"Nobody I know wants to leave any child behind when it comes to education, but if we set up unrealistic and unobtainable goals, then we may be setting our public schools up for failure."

Moore said there had been a surge of interest during the recess in a bill he filed six weeks ago to require the secretary of Veterans Affairs to notify Congress at least 60 days in advance of removing beds or closing medical facilities. He piled up 174 co-sponsors.

"It would give us the opportunity if we decide there's a problem in closing these facilities to step in and do something," Moore said.

He was inspired to file the bill based on rumors, which were unfounded, that medical facilities for veterans in Leavenworth would be cut.

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