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No Heroes For Our Vets

With President Bush flinging blame anywhere but at himself, we find no heroes for our vets this Veterans Day:

Congress can also meet its responsibili ty to our veterans by passing a clean Veterans Affairs appropriatio ns bill. Unfortunatel y, Congressiona l leaders let the fiscal year end without passing this bill they know our veterans need. So I urged Congress to pass this bill by Veterans Day — and they still have failed to send me this vital legislation. The time to act is running out. There are now just four days left on the legislative calendar before Congress leaves town for their Thanksgiving break. The best way members of Congress can give thanks to our veterans is to send me a clean bill that I can sign into law.

So, whose fault is it that our vets continually get screwed? Of course it’s politically advantageous for Bush to sling blame at Congress, but it’s also a signal of failed leadership and diplomacy on his part that there was nothing worth signing into law.

Why do I get the feeling that the only reason Bush wanted this bill to sign on Veterans day was that he needed to appear the hero by signing a bill on Sunday? Denied the chance, he’s not happy. The feeling is mutual.

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12 Responses to “No Heroes For Our Vets”

  1. Congress could do more… a lot more. They propose bills not Bush. Are they afraid of vetoes? C’mon…

  2. President Bush likes to surround himself with the military whenever he makes a speech outside of the White House for a reason, they are under orders to support him. He just does not get it.

    While he has no problem seeking funding for the war in Iraq he has no guts when it comes to veterans benefits and care. You will never see Bush running the lead on behalf of Veterans as President.

  3. So why hasn’t the congress sent Bush a clean veterens bill? What is the reason/excus e given? You say it is politically advantageous for Bush to blame congress which may be true, but it is also true that the Dems are using the vets as political cannon fodder by not removing help for vets from the SCHIP bill and sending it up clean. The help for vets is clearly in congress hands. Why not argue the SCHIP bill without using the vets as hostages and get them the help they need?

  4. SCHIP? Manapp, you really have no idea what’s happening here, do you? Part of the fight is that the Dems want to add money to the spending bill for funding the wars. The president doesn’t want that. He wants endless emergency supplimental s so he can fudge around on spending numbers. The GOP’s beloved Lieberman, meanwhole, tagged on a ban from drilling in ANWR, as Sen Steven’s, Alaska’s favorite crooked son, sucks 183 mil out for “defense spending” in Alaska. Oh, and the conference produced 50 mil for AUDITORS to review Bush’s sleazy no-bid contracts. Needless to say the Commander in Chimp isn’t pleased with that. So, as you can see, this has NOTHING tio do with SCHIP (which is NOT a part of this bill), but rather the “bridge” general funding for Iraq and Afghanistan, the auditing, and the military construction money.

    Really, you should actually learn about these things.


  5. JMJ:
    After the Walter Reed debacle the President formed the Dole/Shalala commission to look into vets needs. They came up with these recommendati ons:

    The TRICARE proposal, if enacted into law, would open military healthcare to a wave of new beneficiarie s, potentially as many as 9,000 to 10,000 newly-disabl ed veterans each year plus their families.

    In addition to expanding TRICARE, they said, Congress should:

    - Authorize the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to provide lifetime treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder to any veteran deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

    - Strengthen support for military families caring for wounded warriors by making them eligible for TRICARE-prov ided respite care and aid and attendant benefits.

    - Amend the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) so that families of combat-injur ed service members see unpaid leave protection extended from the current limit of 12 weeks up to 6 months.

    - End the dual Department of Defense and VA disability systems, by giving DoD responsibili ty only for finding a members unfit for duty.

    http://capwi ry/issues/al ert/?alertid =10332756&ty pe=CO

    Then congress added some of the recommendati ons to SCHIP effectively holding the vets hostage to an unrelated bill.

    Two largely overlooked provisions of SCHIP would address the urgent issue of protecting military families as outlined by the Dole-Shalala Commission. Sections 621 and 622, under Subtitle C, provide one year of employment discriminati on protection to family members caring for grievously wounded troops, and extend permitted work leave for these caretakers from three to six months

    “http://www. g/2007/10/18  /schip-an-u rgent-vote-t o-protect-wo unded-vetera ns-fails

    Now congress is holding the help for vets hostage by adding other spending to a vets bill:

    “WASHINGTON - Democrats struggling to win increases in health and education programs paired them Thursday with a popular budget bill for veterans, but President Bush held the upper hand in a veto showdown.

    With Bush promising to veto a $151 billion bill for education, health and labor programs, Democrats tied the spending to a $65 billion measure for veterans’ programs and military base construction .

    Democrats had sparked a furor this week by signaling that they would toss in the Pentagon budget as well - threatening what Bush termed a “three-bill pileup.” They drew back after objections from Republicans. ”

    http://www.k news/2007/no v/02/dems-ti e-education- health-funds -to-veterans -bill/

    This is part two of the Democrats not giving the President a clean bill on vets. It is time for the Dems who control congress to stop playing games and enact the Dole/Shalala commisions recommendati ons without the politics. Everyone SAYS they support the troops but actions speak louder than words and the actions of this congress towards our vets is disgraceful.

    Really, you should actually learn about these things.


  6. Moderator, please free up my rebuttal to JMJ.

  7. If the president wants bills that he can sign, he has to use diplomacy to negotiate and get his people to push forward bills he can sign. The veto pen is a sign of failed leadership and diplomacy more than a failure of congress to craft bills. Last I checked congress is still passing bills regularly, not to mention, bills that may get vetoed and overridden. Which is a sure sign that Bush is flagging in the leadership department.

  8. Congress has NOT sent up a vet benefit bill not tied to other spending. Remember, the Dems control both houses. Bush does not have “his” people. How the hell can you blame this on Bush. Blame Bush for the veto of SCHIP if you want, or the threat of a veto of the vet bill laden with non vet related spending. Blame him for not compromising but to blame him for congress not passing a clean bill to help vets is just incorrect.

  9. I thought the republicans were his people Man? Bush is, after all, the primadona titular head of the GOP.

    How does a bill get written, Man? Who was behind all the bills signed by Bush in the first four years?

    I blame bush for failed leadership and failed diplomacy. If and when the bill gets passed, it’s quasi the will of the people. He continually denies and threatens the veto. That’s not leadership, nor diplomacy. Near as I can tell, Bush falls down on all those fronts - Iraq is QED.

  10. FMLA is not SCHIP, Manapp. I know that FMLA is tied to this, but then SCHIP should be too. Both these are needed for the vets. You don;t want a clean bill. You just want to lave the troops flat.

    I also note that you have no problem with the GOP pork in the bill.


  11. Manapp, your comment here; Remember, the Dems control both houses-is ridiculous because its the slimmest majority possible in the Senate. Most bills are passing the House where the majority is somewhat larger.

    What exactly did the Repugs do when they had the majority on the issue of Veterans?

    Pork is pork and I hate it all. I don’t care who is instigating it.

  12. So what if they tied other things to the veterans bill. It is called compromise. Of course bush has no idea how to compromise. With him it is his way or the highway. Funny though when the repugnits had control never vetoed a bill.

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