Iowa Congressman Leonard Boswell said today (Tuesday) he supports an amendment to a Defense Department appropriations bill that would ban “cruel and inhumane treatment” of military detainees.
Boswell says he’s written to House leaders urging them to accept the Senate provision penned by former Vietnam POW John McCain. Boswell says he’s concerned that this nation’s image is now associated with torture. “As a Vietnam veteran, I’ve always said that I’d rather be ‘taken out’ than captured and tortured.” Boswell says “We must tell the world that we will not adhere to a policy of torture.”
Boswell says he’ll get an intelligence briefing tomorrow about four peace activists including an American being held hostage in Iraq. One of the biggest deadlines facing Congress is the Alternative Minimum Tax, which Boswell says is a rapidly-expiring measure that will cost the federal treasury a trillion dollars the next ten years if it’s repealed permanently, but if it’s not repealed will lay a heavy income-tax load on middle-income taxpayers next year.
Boswell says people in the middle and lower-income tax brackets are picking up the tax bill that should be the obligation of the rich under the intent of the AMT, and he hopes Congress can come to a final solution before adjourning for the holidays. Boswell says, “If they seek my counsel I’ll say ‘Get your act together; let’s get this done’.” There are two appropriations bills left that Boswell says have to be finished up before the end of the year: that Department of Defense measure, and a Health and Human Services bill that includes low-income heating assistance and funding for Pell Grants for college. Boswell says it also includes Medicare and Medicaid funding, and should be handled right.