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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Democrats Hold Our Veterans and Troops Hostage

Democrats need to stop "claiming" to support our troops and start actually supporting them, instead of holding their funds hostage to the Democratic agenda for social spending, which has nothing to do with our veterans funding.

The Democrats are trying to hide our veterans funding into other bills they know will be vetoed, instead of passing a veterans funding bill as a stand alone bill, because they know it would pass that way with an overwhelming majority voting for our troops and veterans funds.

The other day we showed you a speech from the President where he stated:

Holding Veterans funding hostage:

We want to sit down in good faith and come up with a bill that is responsible, because Congress has been unable or unwilling to get its basic job done of passing spending bills. There are now reports that congressional leaders may be considering combining the Veterans and Department of Defense appropriations bills, and then add a bloated Labor, Health and Education spending bill to both of them.

It's hard to imagine a more cynical political strategy than trying to hold hostage funding for our troops in combat and our wounded warriors in order to extract $11 billion in additional social spending. I hope media reports about such a strategy are wrong, I really do. If they're not, if the reports of this strategy are true, I will veto such a three-bill pileup. Congress should pass each bill one at a time in a fiscally responsible manner that reflects agreement between the legislative branch and the executive branch.

I again ask Congress to send me a clean Veterans funding bill that we have already agreed to by Veterans Day, so we can keep America's promise to those who have defended our freedom and are recovering from injury. I again urge them to pass a clean Defense appropriations bill, and a war supplemental bill to fund our troops in combat.

Today the President gave another speech, which states:

Congress is also stalling on the emergency war supplemental to fund our troops on the front lines in Afghanistan and Iraq. This crucial bill includes funds for bullets and body armor, protection against IEDs and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles. Congress should be able to move the supplemental quickly. There's no reason why they're not moving the supplemental -- after all, it had more than eight months to study most of its provisions. In fact, nearly 75 percent of the funding request in the supplemental was submitted along with my annual budget in February of this year. The supplemental is critical for our troops -- and Congress should not go home for the holidays while our men and women in uniform are waiting for the funds they need. (Applause.)

Congress also needs to pass the Department of Defense spending bill, as well as the funding bill for our nation's veterans. There are reports that congressional leaders may be considering combining the funding bills for our military and our veterans together with a bloated labor, health and education spending bill. It's hard to imagine a more cynical ploy than holding funding for our troops and our wounded warriors hostage in order to extract $11 billion in wasteful Washington spending. If the reports of this strategy are true, I will veto such a three-bill pileup. (Applause.)

I ask Congress to send me a clean veterans funding bill by Veterans Day; and to pass a clean defense spending bill. Congress needs to put the needs of those who put on the uniform ahead of their desire to spend more money. When it comes to funding our troops, some in Washington should spend more time responding to the warnings of terrorists like Osama bin Laden and the requests of our commanders on the ground, and less time responding to the demands of bloggers and Code Pink protesters. (Applause.)

Hat tip to Don Surber who points us to a letter that has been sent to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid:

We write this letter to request that federal funding for our nation’s troops and veterans not be further delayed and held hostage for partisan purposes. Congress must promptly complete its work on the Fiscal Year (FY) 2008 Military Construction-Veterans Affairs (MilCon-VA) and Defense appropriations bills, and they should be sent to the President’s desk as freestanding measures by Veterans Day.

It has been nearly two months since both Houses passed their respective FY 2008 MilCon-VA appropriations bills, and nearly one month has gone by since both chambers approved their FY 2008 Defense appropriations bills. Plenty of time has passed for these measures to go through conference and get signed into law. Yet to date, this Congress has still not sent a single appropriations bill to the President – a failure of accomplishment that has not happened in decades. Meanwhile, our brave soldiers are defending us overseas, taking the fight to the terrorists, and keeping our nation safe. Veterans continue waiting for increased funding, which the President already has signaled that he would approve and will lead to improved medical care and other benefits.

Swift action on the MilCon-VA and Defense appropriations bills is not only fitting with Veterans Day coming in less than two weeks, but it also is one of our highest responsibilities as lawmakers. Our soldiers and veterans already have done so much for our county. The Democratic Congressional Leadership should not now cynically use them to shoulder a bloated “minibus” funding bill up Pennsylvania Avenue and wrest billions in excessive spending. Leading veterans groups have expressed strong concerns about such an approach. For months, the President has said that he would oppose it.

Our troops and veterans cannot afford unnecessary delay, and they rightfully expect Congress to put their interests ahead of politics. It therefore is irresponsible to attach VA and military funding measures onto a domestic spending bill which we know will get vetoed. Instead, we urge you to work with us in a bipartisan manner so we can quickly advance freestanding MilCon-VA and Defense appropriations bills for the President’s signature.


Republican Leader Mitch McConnell
Republican Whip Trent Lott
Senator Judd Gregg
Senator Norm Coleman
Senator Mike Crapo
Senator Ted Stevens
Senator David Vitter
Senator Wayne Allard
Senator John Cornyn
Senator Larry Craig
Senator George Voinovich
Senator Chuck Grassley
Senator Johnny Isakson
Senator Jon Kyl
Senator Michael Enzi
Senator Tom Coburn
Senator Jim DeMint
Senator Jeff Sessions
Senator John Ensign
Senator Jim Bunning
Senator Saxby Chambliss
Senator Sam Brownback
Senator John Thune
Senator Mel Martinez
Senator Orrin Hatch
Senator John Sununu
Senator Christopher Bond
Senator Lindsey Graham
Senator Lamar Alexander
Senator Richard Burr
Senator Bob Corker
Senator Chuck Hagel
Senator Pat Roberts
Senator Susan Collins
Senator Gordon Smith
Senator Bob Bennett
Senator Thad Cochran
Senator James Inhofe
Senator Elizabeth Dole
Senator Lisa Murkowski
Senator John McCain
Senator Pete Domenici
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison
Senator Richard Lugar

Holding our troops funding and our veterans funding hostage to social bills that have nothing to do with our military or our veterans is beyond contemptible.

Yet that is what the Democratic politicians feel is a good idea.

More from Michelle Malkin, Assorted Babble, Riehl World View, Rush Limbaugh, Red State and Right Voices.