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Thursday, November 09, 2006

Democratic Leaders List Military and Veterans Care Priorities

From AP:

Military: Urge the White House to convene a summit to discuss the U.S. future in Iraq. The objective is to make 2006 a significant transition year and press the Iraqi government to more quickly assume responsibility for the country's security. Conduct hearings on missteps on the war. One demand, that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld resign, was fulfilled on Wednesday.

Intelligence and foreign affairs: Increase attention to terrorist threats in Africa and Southeast Asia. Open direct talks with North Korea and Iran. More oversight of terrorism and government surveillance.

Homeland security: Enact Sept. 11 commission recommendations, including stronger oversight of intelligence agencies and privacy-civil liberties issues. Declassify intelligence agencies' budgets. Put a radio system in place by next year to let emergency responders from different agencies talk to each other. Boost security for rail and mass transit systems and chemical and nuclear plants.

Veterans' affairs: Increase oversight with detailed budget accounting. More money for veterans' health care, including additional mental health counseling for veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

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