A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Friday, July 02, 2004

Steel Saves Lives

Blackfive has a post about HR 4323 and it's importance to our troops. HR 4323 - here is a breakdown of what the bill does - essentially allows the DoD to acquire and ship certain materials overseas (stuff like steel, concrete, nails, and tools) that can save many lives; our Soldiers and Marines use these items to make their vehicles and bases safer. It has passed the House (285-97 in favor) and is now before the Senate.

The good news is that HR 4323 does not appropriate any new funds (though if it did I certainly think it's a wise enough way to spend money), but only allows for the use of existing funds in a more speedy and efficient manner. I'm all for speed and efficiency in government, particularly where our soldier's lives are concerned. The bad news is that HR 4323 is still in the worst of all possible places: Congress.

What Blackfive wants us all to do is get in touch with our Senators and let them know that they need to act on this. One Senator in particular has the power to get things moving for HR 4323: Senator John W. Warner of Virginia, Chair of the Armed Services Committee. Here is his contact information:

Senator John Warner
225 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-2023

Blackfive has updated his original post with some talking points for those who'd like to call Senator Warner's office in reference to HR 4323. I'll be calling this afternoon when I get home from work ... I urge all of you to do the same (not only will you be helping out our troops, you'll be flexing the muscles of democracy as well).

I'm also going to write letters to my Senators, who's e-mail addresses I just happen to have right here. In fact, here's the full contact information for Senators Graham and Nelson:

Senator Bob graham
524 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-3041

Senator Bill Nelson
716 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington DC 20510
(202) 224-5274

Those of you who also reside in Florida should drop them a line about HR 4323. Folks from other states can find contact information for their Senators here. This one is important, good readers, and worth an hour or two of your time. I think we owe it to those men and women who put themselves in harms way so that we might remain safe and free.