Braley pushes True Cost of War Act

Rep. Bruce Braley, D-Iowa, thinks the American taxpayers deserve an accurate account of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Braley, along with Rep. Walter Jones, R-N.C., introduced the True Cost of War Act Monday. The act, which Braley has introduced in various forms since 2008, made it out of the House in 2011 but never advanced to President Obama’s desk to be signed into law.

The bill would require the President to work with the Secretaries of State, Defense and Veterans Affairs to generate a report to the public detailing the long-term human and financial costs of the wars. Should the President sign the bill into law, the law would require the President to submit that report to Congress within 90 days.

“There are tremendous costs,” said Jeff Giertz, a spokesperson for Braley. “The costs of these wars will be with us for a long time to come.”

Tuesday marks the tenth anniversary of the ground invasion of Iraq.

Giertz said the True Cost of War Act will bring to light the wars’ impact on not only the budget but also on care for injured veterans, long-term mental health treatment and spousal benefits.

According to the act, the law would require the president to make estimates and projections at least through fiscal year 2023, take into account the number of soldiers to be deployed in support of the war in Afghanistan and the number of veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The House Armed Services Committee and the Departments of Foreign and Veterans Affairs reviewed the previous iteration of the bill.

“We were so close,” Giertz said. “We are hopeful we can get it done this time.”