VFW Legislative Alert: Military
Construction/VA Funding Bill Hijacked
Military Construction/VA Appropriations funding bill has been put on
hold after being passed last week on the Senate floor. In a partisan
maneuver Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina
and Jeff Sessions of Alabama with the blessing of the Senate leadership,
have held up the appointment of conferees effectively stopping the
veteran’s funding package dead in its tracks.
The bill contains funding for FY 2007
veterans medical care, benefits, research, facilities construction and
maintenance, as well as military housing and funding for the defense
health care system. The outcome means VA and DOD health care must
continue to run on last year’s inadequate funding levels.
With the ongoing war in Iraq and Afghanistan, it is unconscionable that
Congress does not provide the funding needed to care for those in combat
today and those who have worn the uniform in the past.
Action: We urge you to contact your Senators
and tell them to complete action on this critical funding bill. Tell
them without the FY 2007 funding veterans face:
• Dramatic cuts in medical care funding
• Delayed and/or denied care
• Longer waiting lines to see a doctor
• Shortages in needed health care and VBA staff
• Delays in nursing home programs
• Delays or the end of improvements in Veterans State Nursing Homes
• Cuts in vital VA Medical Research
• More unacceptable claims back log
For more information read the VFW Press
VFW COMMANDER FURIOUS AT THREE REPUBLICAN
WASHINGTON (November 21, 2006) – The
national commander of the nation’s largest organization of combat
veterans is furious that three Republican senators are holding hostage
the passage of key fiscal year 2007 funding bills that prevent the
federal government from improving upon the programs and services it
provides to America’s veterans, servicemembers and their families.
The national commander of the nation’s
largest organization of combat veterans is furious that three Republican
senators are holding hostage the passage of key fiscal year 2007 funding
bills that prevent the federal government from improving upon the
programs and services it provides to America’s veterans, servicemembers
and their families.
Gary Kurpius, the commander-in-chief of the
Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S., said the actions this week by
Sens. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Jeff
Sessions of Alabama were "nothing short of pure partisan politics and
sheer arrogance towards the new Democrat-controlled 110th Congress."
At issue are spending bills that the
administration and most in Congress want to pass this year before the
109th Congress ends. By holding up the process, the three senators are
undercutting vital prosthetic and traumatic brain injury research for
returning troops, delaying staffing increases and infrastructure
improvements within the Department of Veterans Affairs, and exacerbating
an already out of control VA backlog that exceeds 820,000 claims. The
government’s fiscal year began Oct. 1.
"There are 351,000 veterans in Oklahoma,
412,000 in South Carolina and 422,000 in Alabama who are going to be
directly impacted by their senators who have put politics above their
constituency," said Kurpius, a Vietnam veteran from Anchorage.
"What occurred on Nov. 7 was an exact
reversal of what occurred in 1994 when Republicans swept control of both
houses of Congress," he said. "These three senators obviously forgot
that it is the will of the people that keeps them in office, not their
Kurpius is now calling on all veterans and
servicemembers to contact their U.S. senators to bring pressure upon
Coburn, DeMint and Sessions before the 109th Congress adjourns next
month. (Click here to contact your senators:
"Our war is against an enemy that wants to
destroy everything American; it is not a war between Republicans and
Democrats," he said. "Our elected officials need to pass the budget and
do the jobs they were elected to do. Supporting our veterans and those
who serve in uniform are nonpartisan, nonnegotiable issues."