Veteran to George Allen: We Deserve Honestly, Not Reelection Rhetoric

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    From the Kaine for Senate campaign:

    VETERAN TO GEORGE ALLEN: WE DESERVE HONESTY, NOT REELECTION RHETORIC

     
    Richmond, VA – As George Allen made stops this week to speak with veterans, he neglected to tell Virginia veterans about his long record of opposing funding for veterans' health care, and supporting the 'cut, cap, and balance' proposal that would negatively impact essential defense priorities.
     
    “George Allen owes it to Virginia veterans to be honest about his record of repeatedly opposing resources for veterans health care and voting for increased TRICARE co-pays. Veterans deserve honesty from our public officials, not misleading campaign rhetoric that doesn’t square with the facts. Tim Kaine is the only candidate in this race who has the record and the plan to solve our fiscal challenges in a balanced way that will protect essential funding for defense and veterans health care,” said Terron Sims, a veteran of the United States Army who served in Iraq.
     
    RHETORIC: ALLEN SAYS CARING FOR WOUNDED WARRIORS IS A MORAL OBLIGATION

    In Allen's Compact with Veterans, he wrote, “Care for our wounded warriors is a moral obligation to those who have sacrificed so much defending our freedom.” 
     
    REALITY: ALLEN VOTED REPEATEDLY AGAINST FUNDING FOR TRICARE
     


    2006: Allen Voted Against Measure To Increase TRICARE Funding And Block Fee And Co-Payment Increases. In 2006, Allen voted against an amendment that would have put more money into Tricare, and would have blocked a Bush administration proposal to raise fees and co-payments for younger retirees on Tricare. The amendment would have been paid for by closing tax loopholes. Republicans DeWine and Chafee voted for the amendment, which failed 46-53. Allen voted no. [Roll Call Vote No. 67, 3/16/06]

    • Amendment Allen Opposed Would Have Closed Tax Loopholes And Raised $10.4 Billion For TRICARE And Blocked Bush Proposal To Increase Tricare Fees. The Navy Times reported, “Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., offered an amendment that would have blocked a Bush administration proposal to increase health care fees and co-payments for military retirees under age 65 who are covered by Tricare, but that amendment was defeated by a 53-46 vote. Kerry's amendment would have closed tax loopholes to raise $10.4 billion over five years as an alternative to increasing Tricare fees for younger retirees.” [Navy Times, 3/27/06]

    2006: Allen Voted Against Increasing Veterans Health Care. In 2006, Allen voted against an amendment to fund veterans’ health care. The purpose of the measure was: “To provide an assured stream of funding for veteran's health care that will take into account the annual changes in the veteran's population and inflation to be paid for by restoring the pre-2001 top rate for income over $1 million, closing corporate tax loopholes and delaying tax cuts for the wealthy.” [Vote 63, 3/16/06]

    2004: Allen Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Medical Care by $1.8 Billion.  In 2004, Allen voted against an amendment to create a reserve fund to allow for an increase in veterans’ medical care by $1.8 billion. The spending would have been offset by revenue increases. [Vote 40, 3/10/04]

    RHETORICALLEN LAMENTS CUTS TO DEFENSE SPENDING
     
    Allen to Patch: “Cutting national defense could leave us with a hollow military…”  [Patch, 4/10/2012]
     
    REALITY: GEORGE ALLEN SUPPORTS CUT, CAP AND BALANCE THAT, AS THE WALL STREET JOURNAL REPORTED, WOULD 'LIKELY DEFAULT TO CUTTING DEFENSE'

    Wall Street Journal Editorial Said The Inevitable Consequence Of Republicans' Cut, Cap & Balance Act Would Likely Be Defense Cuts.  In an editorial criticizing the Cut, Cap and Balance Act’s balanced budget amendment, the Wall Street Journal wrote that it was not “clear that the amendment could avoid unintended consequences. In the current fight over spending and the debt, the GOP Congressional leadership has worked well to protect the defense budget. . . . But under a mandated need to balance spending, the inevitable horse-trading would likely default to cutting defense while ducking fights on domestic programs.” [Editorial, Wall Street Journal, 7/19/11]
     

    RHETORIC: ALLEN PROMISED TO REPRESENT VETERANS AS U.S. SENATOR
     
    Patch: “If elected, Allen said he hopes to serve on the Armed Services Committee. 'I want to make sure Virginia voices are represented on that committee,' he said.” [Patch, 4/10/2012]
     
    REALITY: ALLEN REFUSED TO INTRODUCE G.I. BILL AS A SENATOR BECAUSE SENATE MOVED TOO SLOW, SENATOR WEBB INTRODUCED THE BILL AND SECURED PASSAGE

    Allen Claimed He Hadn’t Introduced Legislation To Expand The GI Bill Because The Senate Moved Too Slow. In July 2006, the Newport News Daily Press reported that during their first debate, “Webb scored when he asked Allen to join him in expanding the GI Bill to include complete tuition, books and a stipend for veterans with service since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. The benefits in the current Montgomery GI Bill are more limited. ‘I like football, but football isn’t life,’ Webb said, gibing at Allen’s habit of using metaphors from the sport in his speeches. ‘My heroes are the young men and women who step forward at the risk of losing their lives. … I believe that the young people serving today deserve better.’ It was a pitch that Webb had made two weeks ago at the state American Legion convention in Richmond. Allen pointed to all the veterans’ benefits he had supported, without directly responding to Webb, who countered with a suggestion that submitting such a bill ‘is well within your power right now. You could do it next week.’ Responded Allen: ‘If the Senate didn’t move at the pace of a wounded sea slug, I could.’ The audience tittered at Allen’s reference to the pace of the Senate, a repeat of a comment from a presidential foray into Iowa he made a few months ago. ‘He clearly didn’t know what the Montgomery GI Bill was,’ Webb said later of his own ‘gotcha question’ of Allen.” [Newport News Daily Press, 7/23/06]

     
    Webb Introduced 21st Century GI Bill On His First Day Of Office; It Passed The Senate 92-6 And Was Signed Into Law By President Bush. A press release from Senator Webb’s office stated, “On Monday, June 30, President Bush signed into law landmark legislation introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-Va.) to provide post-9/11 veterans with comprehensive educational benefits. Last week, the legislation was overwhelmingly passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate. Senator Jim Webb introduced this bill eighteen months ago on his first day in office. The bipartisan measure– principally cosponsored by Sens. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), and John Warner (R-VA), has unprecedented support from all major veterans' organizations, in addition to strong bipartisan support in Congress, with a House vote of 416 to 12, and a Senate vote of 92 to 6.” [Press Release, Office of Senator Webb, 7/1/08]