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Democrats Criticize White House for Shortfalls in Veterans Care


A U.S. congressman in the Democratic Party says the recently unveiled shortfalls in care at a Washington, D.C. military hospital indicate a "catastrophic failure of leadership" by the Bush administration.

Congressman Harry Mitchell of the southwestern state of Arizona said in the Democrats' weekly radio address Saturday, that problems similar to those found at Walter Reed military hospital are being uncovered elsewhere in the military medical care system. He said it is a problem that cannot be fixed simply with drywall and paint.

Mitchell said voters should hold the Bush administration accountable for those shortfalls because it did not provide adequate funding.

He said Democrats have added $3.5 billion for veterans' care to the president's budget request for war funding.

Congress has not voted yet to approve this year's budget.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.

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