John Kerry Statement at Today's Senate Democratic Policy Committee Hearing on Toxic Mercury Pollution
Washington, D.C. - "I want to thank the members of the panel for joining us today to wrestle with an issue that's not just an environmental issue, but which is as real and present a health care crisis as you'll find in numerous communities across our country.
"When fathers across America take their kids fishing but can't risk cooking the catch for dinner because of the risk of mercury contamination, that's a health care issue. When expectant mothers can't trust the tuna fish sandwich they are eating because it might some day lead to seizures in their child, we have a public health problem on our hands. When teachers are seeing increases in learning disabilities around mercury hotspots, we have an education and a public health issue staring us in the face. And what's most troubling is that Washington's not being honest about it.
"In this city, it's almost become standard-fare for honesty to be sacrificed for political expediency. We saw it when the President's budget left out literally trillions in spending. We saw it when a Medicare actuary was forced to fudge the numbers and lie to Congress to keep his job. We saw the falsified numbers in Iraq on everything from the cost of the war to the number of trained Iraqi troops. We saw the fake newscasts produced by the Bush Administration and funded with your tax dollars.
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