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Shuster to take part in Iraq delegation

Congressman Bill Shuster is leaving Sunday to take part in an official congressional delegation trip to Iraq during the week of August 25. Congressman Shuster will be accompanied on the trip by a bipartisan delegation including Reps. Tom Davis, Chris Shays, Martin Meehan, Ed Schrock, Mark Kennedy, Adam Schiff, Mike Rogers, Michael Burgess, Carolyn Maloney, and Chris Chocola.
In an interview with The Daily Herald, Shuster talked about what he hoped to accomplish on the trip.
“I am looking forward to get the opportunity to meet the troops in Iraq,” said Shuster. “We are going over there to make sure that our American servicemen and women have the resources they need to do the job.”
Congressman Shuster noted that the goal of his trip will be to assess the morale of the troops and to make sure that they have everything they need to complete their mission as quickly as possible and get home safely.
“First and foremost, I want to make sure that our troops are adequately equipped so that they can achieve their mission and get home as quickly as possible,” said Shuster. “Part of that will be seeing firsthand how the reconstruction effort is going and gauging our troops’ morale. I want to let them know that the country is standing behind them 100 percent,” said Shuster.
Congressman Shuster said he was looking forward to the opportunity to join the delegation to Iraq so he could report to the parents and loved ones of troops stationed there about how they are doing and to do whatever he could to boost their morale.
“This is an opportunity for me to make sure our troops are getting everything they need and report back to the Congress on what we can be doing to help them succeed. I know that families here in Pennsylvania have sent loved ones to Iraq and I want to be able to assure them that the federal government is doing everything it can to support them and get them home as soon as possible,” said Shuster.
During the trip to Iraq, Shuster will meet with the team that is in charge of reconstruction and also meet with the Iraqi governing council.
“It is a unique opportunity that I am proud to be a part of,” said the congressman. “I will get the opportunity to witness first hand how things are going in post-war Iraq.”
When asked if he is concerned about the safety of the mission, Shuster said he has faith in the military.
“Our military is the best in the world,” said Shuster. “I know that we will be as safe as possible in a combat zone.”
Shuster also took a minute to talk about the medicare/medicaid funds that are allotted for Pennsylvania.
“The governor needs to release the funds that have been allotted,” said Shuster. “The doctors and hospitals need that funding to survive. Medical facilities are a big facilitator in economic development. They provide health care that people need. They are an economic engine that brings good paying jobs. Many hospitals, especially in rural communities are some of the larger employers in the area. They are also a great economic development too. Businesses look to see that there is a sound health care system in plan before they expand or plan to re-locate somewhere.”
Shuster and the congressional delegation leaves for Iraq on Sunday and is expected to return to the United States on August 30.