A study in contrasts.
Dems criticize GOP plan for veterans' health
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Bush's congressman said Saturday that the administration and Republicans put a higher priority on tax cuts than on veterans' health care.
Rep. Chet Edwards, D-Texas, said the House has sent Bush a $64.7 billion spending bill to fund Veterans Affairs. That includes a $6 billion increase for veterans health care, $3.8 billion more than Bush had requested, Edwards said.
"For weeks, the White House budget office threatened to veto this bill, because it was above their request," Edwards said in the Democrats' weekly radio address. "Fortunately, the president finally backed down on his threat to this historic veterans' bill, but only after it was clear that Congress would override a veto."
Gov't Struggles to Cope With Wounded GIs
By MARILYNN MARCHIONE
AP Medical Writer
More than 800 of them have lost an arm, a leg, fingers or toes. More than 100 are blind. Dozens need tubes and machines to keep them alive. Hundreds are disfigured by burns, and thousands have brain injuries and mangled minds.
These are America's war wounded, a toll that has received less attention than the 3,500 troops killed in Iraq. Depending on how you count them, they number between 35,000 and 53,000.
Counting the wounded can be contentious. Earlier this year, the Department of Defense changed how it tallies war-related injuries and illness, dropping those not needing air transport to a military hospital from the bottom-line total.