WASHINGTON—While the budget battle rumbled through the Nation’s Capital, the resulting government shutdown threatened earned benefits for 4 million veterans across the country who nobly served our nation.
America’s injured and ill veterans are waging a nationwide campaign for advance funding for the Department of Veterans Affairs to ensure they will never suffer again because of partisan politics. A bipartisan group of lawmakers recognized that using our nation’s heroes as political pawns is unacceptable and have introduced the Putting Veterans Funding First Act. Original sponsors of the measure include Senators Mark Begich (D-Alaska) and John Boozman (R-Ark.) and Representatives Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine).
At a recent Capitol Hill news conference, DAV (Disabled American Veterans) and two dozen military and veterans service organizations applauded Senators and Representatives who support the legislation that would fund veterans programs and services a year in advance.
Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) urged his fellow lawmakers to pass this important legislation. “Our veterans deserve better than [government shutdowns],” he said.
Veterans across the country are demanding passage by the end of the year.
“Over the coming weeks, we will be mobilizing our grassroots supporters around the country, holding town hall meetings and rallies, and calling on Senators and Members of Congress to get this done,” said DAV Washington Headquarters Executive Director Garry Augustine.
DAV also is calling on President Obama, who was an early supporter of the original advance funding bill for VA medical care, to publicly announce his support for this legislation and his intent to sign it.
“If there is one thing people in Washington and across America agree on, it’s that we should never let funding for veterans become a casualty of Washington gridlock,” said House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller.
The public can send a message to Congress and the White House at dav.org to let their elected officials know that
our nation’s heroes will never again be used as pawns during political fights over the budget.
“It’s time to change how Washington pays for veterans programs by putting veterans funding first,” Augustine said. “America’s veterans deserve no less.”
DAV empowers veterans to lead high-quality lives with respect and dignity. It is dedicated to a single purpose: fulfilling our promises to the men and women who served. DAV does this by ensuring that veterans and their families can access the full range of benefits available to them; fighting for the interests of America’s injured heroes on Capitol Hill; and educating the public about the great sacrifices and needs of veterans transitioning back to civilian life. DAV, a non-profit organization with 1.2 million members, was founded in 1920 and chartered by the U. S. Congress in 1932. Learn more at www.dav.org.
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