Tuesday, February 4, 2014

GOP's actual track record on supporting veterans

Well, we've certainly seen a great deal of grotesque, craven posturing and demagoguery surrounding the recent closing of the World War II Memorial caused by the GOP shutdown.
I am disappointed but NOT surprised that the media failed to counterbalance their coverage of those events with the GOP's pitiful record regarding their actual, long-standing lack of support for America's war veterans and active service members .
To set the record straight,* for those who need reminding:
Senate GOP Obstructionists Throw Veterans Under The Bus-Vote Down Bill To Help Vets In Need Of Jobs  9/23/2012 @ 4:29PM
For those who continue to believe that obstructionism at any cost is not the goal of the Senate Republicans, consider the behavior of the GOP Senators who, on Friday, blocked a bi-partisan effort to pass a bill that would put veterans to work in jobs that look after the nation’s federal land while also giving our fighting men and women a leg up when it comes to getting them hired by local police and fire departments.
The legislation would have provided a relatively small allocation of $1 billion in funds to accomplish the goals of the program.
In order to bring the bill to the floor, a procedural vote was required to waive a technical limit placed on such spending as agreed to in Congress during last year’s budgetary fiasco. Despite the sum of money having been fully offset by cuts and modifications to other planned expenditures, Senate Republicans used the required vote to shoot down the proposed legislation as the Democrats, with some Republican assistance, were able to manage only 58 of the 60 votes required to accomplish the waiver.
GOP blocks COLA on benefits for disabled veterans and survivors September 28, 2012
Despite what has traditionally been overwhelming support both in the past and unanimous support earlier this year in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Chairperson of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs announced on Thursday that at least one Republican Senator was holding up a bill which would provide a cost of living adjustment (COLA) on benefits for disabled veterans and the spouses and children of deceased veterans.
Earlier in September Republicans in the Senate blocked a bill which would have helped veterans gain employment. Meanwhile at the end of August President Barack Obama signed an Executive Order improving the mental health services for veterans, military members and their families.
Meet the 40 Senate Republicans Who Betrayed Veterans By Killing $1 Billion in Jobs
Forty Republican members of the United States Senate betrayed veterans today when they decided that denying President Obama a victory was more important than spending $1 billion to create jobs for vets.
The Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012 would have spent $1 billion over five years to put veterans to work tending to federal lands, and in the nation’s police and fire departments. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) based her plan of FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), but Republicans opposed the bill because they said there is no proof that it would work.
Republican Sen. Tom Coburn claimed that there is no evidence that jobs for vets will work, “What we have is a bill that’s brought to the floor that has good intentions behind but shows the absolute laziness of congress in terms of really digging things out.
Here are the 40 Republicans who voted to keep America’s veterans unemployed,
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Enzi (R-WY)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lee (R-UT)
Lugar (R-IN)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)
GOP Voted Against 7 Bills to Help Veterans MAY 16, 2012
War on Error
Bill's Blocked By Republican's Since President Obama Took Office.
David Gregory, John McCain, and the media aren't covering this story so we have to.
Here's a concise extraction for easy viewing for those who are INTERESTED IN VETERANS ISSUES and need to know which party supports veterans and which party does not.
The rejected Bills are named:
H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act became H. R. 2875.
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization
H.R. 1172 -- Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans
H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009
H.R. 1803 -- Veterans Business  Center Act
H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act
H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act – This bill would actually provide job security for veterans who are receiving medical treatment for injuries suffered while fighting in defense of their country. It would prohibit employers from terminating
employees who miss work while receiving treatment for a service-related disability.
H.R. 1168 -- Veterans Retraining Act – This bill would provide for assistance to help veterans who are currently unemployed with their expenses while retraining for the current job market.
H.R. 1171 – Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program Reauthorization –  This bill would reauthorize programs in support of homeless veterans, to assist them with job training, counseling, and placement services through the Department of Veterans Affairs through 2014.
H.R. 1172 -- Requiring List on VA Website of Organizations Providing Scholarships for Veterans which does nothing more than direct the Department of Veterans Affairs to include information about scholarships for veterans.
H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009 – Here’sanother bill in support of those who have fought for their country, passed by House Democrats and blocked from becoming law by Republicans.
This would increase the amount paid by the VA to disabled veterans for necessary home structural improvements from $4,100 to $6,800 for those who are more than 50% disabled, and from  $1,200 to $2,000 who are less than 50%, disabled. This means, if a veteran lost the use of his legs in service of his country, the country will pay for the wheelchair ramp so that he can live at home.
By the way, the last time this ceiling was lifted was in 1992.  There isn't even a fiscal reason for being against this bill, as the total cost of this bill, according to CBO estimates, would be a “whopping” $20 million. That's about a quarter (25 cents) per family of four.
H.R. 1803 -- Veterans Business  Center Act –  This bill would set up a Veterans Business Center program within the Small Business Administration, which would specialize in such programs as grants for service-disabled veterans, help them develop business plans and secure business opportunities. In other words, folks, it would create jobs and offer opportunities those who have fought in defense of our country.
H.R. 2352 – Job Creation Through Entrepreneurship Act – This bill essentially combines a number of other bills that Republicans had blocked in the Senate previously, and adds a few elements. The bill would again establish a Veterans Business Center Program; .... it would establish a Military Entrepreneurs Program; ...
Republicans Vote Against Increased VA Funding Two billion to rescue our ailing VA system as new vets flood the system? Not necessary. apparently.
From the <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 />Washington Post: (with thanks to jmarshall on our comment board)
"Republicans beat back a Democratic attempt to provide almost $2 billion in additional health care funding for veterans. rejecting claims that Department of Veterans Affairs hospitals are in crisis."
VA hospitals are doing just fine. huh? Tell that to Jeremy Lewis or Denver Jones - just two of the thousands of Iraq vets who came home to months of bureaucracy and delayed treatment. But it's not just Iraq vets who think the VA needs some help.
Major GOP Donor Arrested in $100 Million Veteran Charity Scam May 02, 2012 08:30 AM
The U.S. Marshal Service announced Tuesday that it had captured one of America’s Most Wanted fugitives who is accused of creating a fake charity for Navy veterans that funneled some of the $100 million collected to Republican candidates.
Between the early 2000s and 2010, a man using the alias "Bobby Thompson" collected millions from unsuspecting donors for the charity U.S. Navy Veterans Association (USNVA), which claimed to provide support for members of the U.S. Armed Forces. Officials believe that very little, if any, of the money was ever used as intended, according to the U.S. Marshal Service.
To help legitimize his charity, Thompson allegedly donated part of the ill-gotten funds to Republican candidates like former President George W. Bush, former Republican presidential candidate John McCain and House Speaker John Boehner.
Republican Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli reportedly personally pleaded with Thompson for donations and received $55,000 for his effort, making Thompson Cuccinelli's second-largest donor. Cuccinelli was eventually forced to turn over the tainted money to veterans support groups.
Walter Reed Scandal Unfolds with General's Firing Questions are being raised about the new commander in charge of the Army's Walter Reed Army Medical Center, a day after the previous general in charge was fired.
The shuffle at Walter Reed takes place two weeks after a series of articles in The Washington Post exposed troubling conditions at the Washington, D.C., facility.
The paper described a medical bureaucracy that left hundreds of wounded Iraqi vets wading through mountains of paperwork as they tried to obtain medical care. The Post also reported on the poor condition of rooms used by some veterans receiving treatment at the hospital.
Witness slams 'nightmares' of Army medical system POSTED: 1:51 a.m. EST, March 6, 2007
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Witnesses told a House panel Monday that wounded U.S. soldiers are forced to struggle against a nightmarish and untrustworthy Army medical system that leaves veterans stranded in unfit conditions.
Two Iraq war veterans and the wife of a third gave heartbreaking, at times stunning, tales of neglect at the now notorious Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The panel was convened in the wake of a scandal triggered by The Washington Post's detailing of problems at the hospital.
Bachmann Takes Heat From Veterans' Group for Proposing Benefits Cuts Conservative Rep. Michele Bachmann is taking heat from the nation's largest combat veterans' organization for proposing, as part of a broad list of spending cuts, a combination of reductions and caps in veterans' benefits.
"No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress," Richard Eubank, head of Veterans of Foreign Wars, said in a written statement released Friday.
The Minnesota Republican congresswoman, who is positioning herself as a leading critic of the Obama administration in the wake of the midterm elections, earlier this week outlined $400 billion worth of possible spending cuts. The plan projected huge savings from drastic measures like abolishing the Department of Education, overhauling farm subsidies and eliminating a host of Justice Department grants and programs.
Tucked into the outline was $4.5 billion in cuts targeting veterans. She proposed capping increases for health care spending at the Department of Veterans Affairs and cutting disability payments "to account for (Social Security) disability payments."
Will any responsible journalist confront the GOP hypocrites about this?

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