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Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Obama, McCaskill to introduce legislation to improve conditions at military hospitals
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Democratic Sens. Barack Obama of Illinois and Claire McCaskill of Missouri plan to introduce legislation that aims to improve conditions at military hospitals, according to a statement from both senators issued Tuesday.

The proposed legislation comes on the heels of a Washington Post expose that detailed substandard conditions for many wounded veterans at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, including "mouse droppings, belly-up cockroaches, stained carpets, cheap mattresses."

"Caring for our returning heroes is one of the things we can still get right about this war, and that's why the deterioration of the conditions at Walter Reed is both appalling and unacceptable," Obama said in the statement.

The legislation calls for increasing the training of caseworkers at Walter Reed, requiring more inspections, establishing timelines for repairs of the facility, providing soldiers with psychological counseling, and increasing congressional oversight.

Obama is a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee while McCaskill holds a seat on the Armed Services Committee.

-- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney
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