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Congressman Sandy Levin


Congressional Connector

The Congressional Connector
Week of June 12 - 16, 2006

House Debates War in Iraq
On June 15 and 16, the House of Representatives debated a divisive resolution on Iraq [H. Res. 861] written by the House Republican Leadership.  Here is an excerpt from Rep. Levin's Floor remarks in opposition to the Iraq resolution:  "...The situation in Iraq is not getting better.  It's getting worse.  As of today, 2500 American soldiers have been killed in Iraq.  Nearly 18,000 of our soldiers have been wounded.  Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died.  Iraq is teetering on the brink of a full-fledged civil war.  Sectarian killings have risen rapidly.  This resolution represents a seal of approval of the Bush Administration's approach to Iraq.  I oppose it.  It is essential that we change the course, not simply stay the course, and adopt policies that heighten the pressure to bring about that change and accelerate the reduction of American military involvement in Iraq."  To view Rep. Levin?s full remarks, click here .  The House adopted the resolution on a vote of 256 to 153, with 5 representatives voting "present."  Rep. Levin voted no.

Congress Approves Emergency Funding for Iraq and Hurricane Relief
On June 13, the House of Representatives voted 351 to 67 to adopt a $94.5 billion emergency funding bill [H.R. 4939] to pay continued costs associated with military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and provide additional money for Gulf Coast recovery efforts.  The lion's share of the money in the bill ($65.8 billion) went for military operations.  The measure also contained $19.8 billion for hurricane relief.  To date, the U.S. has provided a total of $318 billion for the war effort in Iraq.  The Senate later adopted the emergency funding bill on a vote of 98 to 1. 

Michigan Lawmakers Urge President to Push Oil Companies to Increase Availability of E85
On June 12, Rep. Levin and 15 other members of Michigan's congressional delegation wrote to President Bush to ask major oil companies to increase the number of stations providing E85, a biofuel blend that is 85 percent ethanol.  Providing consumers with access to E85 would help reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, decrease greenhouse gas emissions, and meet the demands of the increased number of flexible fuel vehicles produced by the domestic auto industry.  The letter read, in part, "There is a critical missing piece in our nation's efforts to reduce our reliance on oil.  A major barrier to the use of Flexible Fuel Vehicles to reduce oil consumption is the lack of fueling stations that provide E85."

Local School District Nominated for National Anti-Hunger Award  
On June 14, Rep. Levin nominated Warren Consolidated Schools for the Congressional Hunger Center's "Victory Against Hunger Awards" in recognition of the District's creative efforts to ensure that students have access to healthy, nutritious meals.  This year, the Award is focused on efforts to improve the wellness of children by increasing participation in school lunch programs.  Studies show that academic performance improves when students eat nutritious meals.  Winners will be announced in July.  For more information, click here .



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