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August 11, 2008

Franken: U.S. should stop funding Iraqi reconstruction

Comedian Al Franken today called for the U.S. to stop pouring money into Iraq's reconstruction, arguing that Iraq has profited enough from its oil revenues to fund its own rebuilding efforts.

Franken called on the U.S. to instead use the $7.1 billion in appropriated funds for domestic infrastructure improvements.

“It's time to take the training wheels off and end this culture of dependency. Norm Coleman stood idly by while $48 billion of taxpayer dollars were appropriated for this botched reconstruction,” said Franken in a statement.

“Just as his smoke-and-mirrors political ploy to rescind a small portion of that spending won't force the Maliki government to change its behavior, it won't fool Minnesotans into thinking he's a responsible steward of their money."

Franken is running in a closely-watched Minnesota Senate race against Sen. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.)

Last week, Coleman called for the U.S. to withdraw $1.1 billion in funds slated for reconstruction after a GAO report showed that Iraq has a $50 billion surplus from its oil and gas revenues.