Monday, August 17, 2015

How the GOP Supports Our Troops


Republicans love wars but they don't like to pay the full cost of supporting the troops after they come home. Since taking control of the House, Republicans have tried to cut veterans’ benefits every year. In 2012, House Republicans tried to cut benefits while privatizing healthcare. In 2013, House Republicans tried to cut food assistance for 170,000 vets and their families. Meanwhile, 8,000 veterans a year are committing suicide because of a lack of services for their physical and emotional needs.

The GOP-rejected Bills:

H.R. 466 – Wounded Veteran Job Security Act became H. R. 2875.
This bill would have provided 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 Re-authorization
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

H.R. 1293 -- Disabled Veterans Home Improvement and Structural Alteration Grant Increase Act of 2009
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.

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

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.

S.1982 -- Before the Senate vote, organizations devoted to the needs of veterans and their families offered widespread support to the Comprehensive Veterans Health and Benefits and Military Retirement Pay Restoration Act of 2014. Unfortunately, S.1982 was killed by Senate Republicans, with a vote of 56-41 -- only Republicans Senators voting nay and with only two Republicans voting for the bill.

H.R. 5059 -- Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) blocked the Senate from passing a veterans’ suicide prevention bill. Coburn objected because he said the goals of the bill are already funded through programs within the Department of Veterans Affairs.

With 720,000 unemployed veterans of foreign wars in the United States—220,000 of whom have served since the events of September 11, 2001—it is clear that our veterans need help to get on with their lives. Republicans have refused that help at every opportunity. If we can not afford to help veterans rebuild their lives after they return from war then we can't afford to go to war.