VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls on Congress to Learn From “Waste, Fraud, and Abuse” in Iraq

March 19, 2013
Press Release
Honors service members on 10-year anniversary of Iraq invasion
 

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today delivered remarks on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives to call on Congress to learn from the serious waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars during Operation Iraqi Freedom. She also honored the service and sacrifice of the troops who deployed to Iraq.

“While this war has largely faded from the headlines, we must take every opportunity to learn from our experiences,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “There are many lessons we should learn, one of the most egregious being the serious waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars – waste that was apparent to those of us on the ground as well as to outside experts. An alarming report this month by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction also determined at least $8 billion of our reconstruction funds have been wasted.”

 

Video is available here. Full text of her statement is below:

 

Floor Statement of Rep. Tulsi Gabbard

March 19, 2013

I rise today to honor the service and sacrifice of the nearly 5,000 coalition troops, including 28 of my brothers and sisters from Hawai‘i – soldiers like 1LT Nainoa Hoe of Kailua or SGT Deyson Cariaga from Honolulu who I had the honor of serving with – who paid the ultimate price during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Today marks the 10th anniversary of the American invasion of Iraq. And while this war has largely faded from the headlines, we must take every opportunity to learn from our experiences.

There are many lessons we should learn, one of the most egregious being the serious waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars – waste that was apparent to those of us on the ground as well as to outside experts. An alarming report this month by the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction also determined at least $8 billion of our reconstruction funds have been wasted.

In Congress today, we have an opportunity to learn from that lesson. We have to pursue common-sense ways to balance our budget, without hurting our middle-class families, endangering our national security, or short-changing our veterans. We must focus on our mission to serve the people who sent us here, and honor our service members and their families who have made immeasurable sacrifices in the service of our country.

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