Congress lobbied to end war

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(Host) Yesterday dozens of elected officials from cities across the country lobbied Congress for an end to the war in Iraq. Those lobbying included a Vermont state representative from Lincoln.

Charles Davis reports from Capitol Hill.

(Davis) As a Vermont legislator Mike Fisher has been an outspoken critic of the war. Now he’s bringing his message to Congress. According to the nonpartisan National Priorities Project, the war has cost Vermont taxpayers more than $651 million.

(Fischer) "The war is a Vermont issue. It is not just a national foreign policy issue. It’s a Vermont issue because of the human cost of the war, and it’s a Vermont issue because of the economic costs of the war."

(Davis) Fisher says he understands why some lawmakers have been afraid to publicly oppose the war.

(Fischer) "Once the war starts it’s hard for many members, many politicians, to take a public stance against a war. There’s a feeling, a concern that a public stance against the war is somehow going to be seen in a negative light by those who serve."

(Davis) Earlier this year the Vermont legislature passed a resolution Fisher had been pushing for the past three years, calling for an immediate withdrawal. He thinks lawmakers are no longer afraid of claims they don’t support the troops.

(Fishcher) "I think that it’s taken some time for us to get over that – for us to be able to articulate clearly that it is about our support for the troops, and that is part of the motivation for the reason for standing up against this foreign policy."

(Davis) Fisher and others are presenting lawmakers with more than 300 state and local resolutions opposing the war. Congress will take up the issue again in September.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Charles Davis on Capitol Hill.

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