On Friday, House Republican Whip Roy Blunt issued a scathing statement regarding Democrats for the 10th time turning aside a Republican effort to complete work on a veterans’ housing, health care, and benefits bill before Veterans Day.
In October, National Commander of the 2.7 million-member American Legion Marty Conatser suggested in a news release that “Senator Reid personally assured me that the MilCon-VA appropriations bill would be passed by Veterans Day.”
House Republican leaders point out that they sent Speaker Nancy Pelosi a letter over a month ago in which they urged her to appoint conferees to complete work on the veterans’ and military construction appropriations bill by Veterans’ Day. The Speaker never responded.
“When the House first took up and overwhelmingly passed the veterans’ appropriations bill 146 days ago, none of us could’ve anticipated we’d be standing here today…Democrats have used seemingly every measure concerning our Armed Forces as an opportunity to induce surrender in Iraq and pass billions of dollars in unrelated pork-barrel spending…But even with all that, many of us thought they’d treat the veterans’ funding bill differently. This is, after all, a piece of legislation that honors and serves the men and women who have done so much to protect the country…But thanks to Democrats in Congress, we won’t be honoring them with the spending bill they deserve. And the reason? The politics of the moment won out over the needs and priorities of our men and women in uniform,” Blunt stated.
Blunt has not been pleased of late with his majority counterparts.
Yesterday, the minority Whip had issued another scathing remark to the Democrats for their plan to today introduce drafted legislation for continuing the funding of the military in Iraq to be tied in directly to a deadline for troop withdrawal of no later than December of 2008.
Citing it as the 58th attempt at introducing politically-motivated legislation concerning the Iraq war, Blunt decried what he characterized as lack of any care for the importance of achieving a decisive victory, and the previous failure of such a bill even before the latest advances and successes had been achieved in the war.
And on Wednesday, Blunt had attacked the decision by Democrats to strip $3 billion in border security financing from the Defense Appropriations bill.
On Tuesday, the White House issued a veto statement concerning the Veterans’ Affairs budget in which it said “Funding for the nation’s veterans should not be held hostage while Congress attempts to add billions in unrelated spending.”
The veto was promised because the Democrats had added $10 billion more in discretionary spending to the bill than the Republicans had requested. The Republicans insist that the extra money is unnecessary.
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