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Archive for the ‘Veterans Affairs’ Category

The Senate has voted to approve an additional $1.5 billion in emergency funds for Veterans Affairs health programs. The House is expected to vote similarly tonight. Yet President Bush and Republicans in Congress have previously obstructed Democratic efforts to make up for the anticipated shortfall. In a rather embarrassing “mistake,” (foreseen by many lawmakers and veteran advocates) the V.A. used pre Iraqi invasion statistics to estimate the number of veterans expected to be in need of treatment in the wake of the invasion.

If we are to view this latest snafu in conjunction with the president’s broader veteran policy, his incompetence, aloofness and lack of foresight all become apparent. The Center for American Progress reports on Bush’s veteran record. Consider the following:

Under President Bush, the VA…

    Following the lead of top administration officials (who have continuously miscalculated the strength of the Iraqi insurgency and the resilience of the Taliban in Afghanistan) Veterans Affairs Secretary Jim Nicholson placed the number of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans at 23,000 soldiers. The actual number is close to 103,000, “leaving a funding gap of $2.6 billion for the next fiscal year.”

    One thing is clear: for a president who manipulated Americans into supporting his re-election bid by politicizing war, veterans and soldiers, the ever growing gap between rhetoric and action has reached its breaking point.

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