VETERANS BENEFITS CUTS AND BUDGET PROPOSAL -- (Extensions of Remarks - February 08, 2005)
HON. NICK J. RAHALL II
OF WEST VIRGINIA
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 8, 2005
Mr. RAHALL. Mr. Speaker, is nothing sacred in this Administration's budget? At a time when our greatest generation is relying more and more on the VA to provide health services and our newest veterans are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan, the White House is proposing to slash their benefits and force them to pay ever increasing premiums. What happened to keeping promises to our nation's veterans?
With the constantly rising cost of health care, the proposed funding falls well short of what is needed for our veterans. These veterans paid their service to our Nation and they earned a lifetime of health care coverage-we promised it to them. Now, as the President wants to spend trillions of dollars to privatize Social Security, he also wants to break that promise and make veterans pay for their healthcare again!
The absurdity of this would be laughable if it weren't such a serious and disturbing proposal.
Thomas P. Cadmus, the National Commander of the American Legion sees and understands the absurdity of this as well. He said, and I quote:
"It is incomprehensible that our veterans will pay for the shortfall in VA health-care funding from their own pockets as tax dollars flow out the back door of America."
And these tax dollars aren't just flowing out the back door of America in additional foreign aid funding, they are also flowing out the front door in the form of tax cuts for the wealthiest one percent of our Nation.
We have the money to keep our promise to our veterans and I urge the White House to reevaluate the budget and make the changes needed to reinforce the promise to our veterans.
I am also enclosing a press release from The American Legion which I submit for the Record to accompany my remarks.