Veterans Group Gives Landrieu an A+
United States Senator Mary L. Landrieu, D-La., was this week recognized as part of the Senate's "A Team" by the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA). She received the highest possible score of A+ based on nine key Senate votes related to veterans' health care, the new GI Bill, mental health and support for homeless veterans. The full congressional report card compiled by the nonpartisan IAVA can be found here.
"One of the great things about our military is the 200-year tradition of the volunteer soldier," Sen. Landrieu said. "They serve their country courageously, with honor, and with the greatest possible regard for human life. It is our task to ensure that their country honors their families, their sacrifice and their safety -- when they are deployed, and when they return home."
Sen. Landrieu voted with IAVA's position on all four votes related to the Post-9/11 GI Bill, which became law June 30, 2008. The bill dramatically increased benefits for troops by providing full tuition at public universities, a monthly living allowance and a book stipend.
"The new GI bill was critical to giving a new generation of veterans, returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the opportunity to go to college," Sen. Landrieu said.
Sen. Landrieu became the first Democratic woman to serve on the Senate Armed Services Committee in 1999 and has often been referred to as "Military Mary" due to her long-standing commitment to the men and women serving in America's Armed Forces. She now serves on the Appropriations Committee and fights for important funding programs for the armed forces and veterans.
In September, the Senate sent two important defense-related bills to the President for his signature. The Defense Appropriations bill contained $933 million in Landrieu-secured funding for the LPD-17 program. The funding is for construction of the tenth ship in the 11-ship program. The Defense Appropriations bill also included $96 million Sen. Landrieu secured for the B-52 program. The Defense Authorization Act moved forward a $14.6 million project Sen. Landrieu included for the Security Forces Squadron at Barksdale Air Force base.