Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Battle of the Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairs

Those of us who watch how members of Congress deal with Veterans issues and how they treat veterans themselves, would do well to keep an eye on the actions and actual voting record of newly appointed GOP chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee, Congressman Jeff Miller (R-FL),  who promised a thorough review of spending for veterans' programs.

I support a thorough review of any DC committee's budget, but I am concerned when it feels like there may be a hidden, or not so hidden agenda.  Congressman Miller said  he thinks veterans understand why fiscal responsibility is necessary. "I think it's fair to say the veterans in this country have sacrificed in their service to our nation, but they are willing to do what's necessary to help get this country's fiscal house in order".  Wait, let's back up a minute.  Vets are "willing to do what's necessary to help get this country's fiscal house in order"?  No, NO and NO WAY!   With 1% of our population carrying 100% of the burdens of these wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, why don't  we make sure that our military members and our vets have their own fiscal houses in order?  THAT is what I want the 112th session of Congress to do.

GOP Speaker of the House, John Boehner said he "can’t think of anyone in the House more capable to serve as the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs than Jeff Miller"  as he announced Miller's election as Chairman of the House VA Committee, he went on to say 

““Jeff’s efforts for veterans are well documented and his credentials as a conservative leader are without question.  Jeff will continue to work to ensure that all of our nation’s heroes receive the proper respect and care that they earned.”
A quick review of Miller's  website brags about how much he supports Veterans issues with such statements from the Congressman as: 
“I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the more than 22 million veterans who have so proudly served this great nation,” “I will work to ensure that we meet our veterans’ needs.” 

I hope so, but not so fast, Congressman Miller.  In October 2010, IAVA, a well known and well regarded veterans advocacy organization published their Congressional Report Card on how members of Congress voted on Veterans issues.   Sadly, Congressman Miller came out with a D, so it doesn't matter how pretty his website is, or how many nice things he says, remember how he voted on the issues when it comes to voting for your Congressional Representative.

Fortunately, Miller's newly appointed counterpart in the Senate, Sen. Patty Murray, said she will be watching Republicans "like a hawk" to ensure veterans get their financial due.  Note: Senator Murray received a B from IAVA.

As the 112th session of Congress starts working on issues, let's see who really supports veterans and their issues and who doesn't.  We'll be watching!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This year, this gets fixed! James Bryan is running against Jeff Miller for Florida's 1st District and things about going to change. It's time a true Veteran sat in that seat, someone who knows that you never leave a brother or sister behind! If you want the same thing for our Vets please visit Jim Bryan for Congress on Facebook and help us get Jeff Miller a moving VAN!