Nov 6, 2011

Vets to Congress: Hands off Our Healthcare and Benefits

Two national veterans' organizations are warning the Congressional Debt Supercommittee to leave veterans' programs alone, in light of a letter to the committee from the Chairs and Ranking Members of the Veterans Affairs (VA) Committees in the House and Senate which details past proposed cuts to veterans, and how much they would save the government.

By and Veterans for Common Sense

That letter has stoked a round of news stories regarding potential cuts to the GI Bill and other programs. While the letter from the VA Committees didn't actually recommend the cuts, and the letter was mandated to be submitted to the Supercommittee along with letters from every other committee Chair and Ranking Member, veterans still feel the need to make their voices clear.

In a statement, Ashwin Madia, Iraq War Veteran and Interim Chair of, and Patrick Bellon, Iraq War Veteran and Executive Director of Veterans for Common Sense said:
While we understand that the letter sent by the Chairs of the VA Committees to the Supercomittee doesn't constitute an actual list of endorsed cuts to veterans' programs, we nonetheless feel the need to reiterate that cutting the debt on the backs of veterans will not be tolerated. The list of past proposed cuts in the letter is offensive to veterans, and goes back on the commitment to them made by America. We call on the Supercommittee to keep its word, and the word of President Obama, to protect veterans from this budget slashing process, and reject any cuts to veterans, outright. America's veterans have sacrificed enough for America. When it comes to cutting back programs and increasing revenue streams, it's time to ask those who can most afford it to share in the sacrifice that veterans have already made. We are ready to take action if the Supercommittee begins to debate any cuts to veterans. We'll be watching.
The letter from the VA Committees to the Supercommittee can be found here.

Founded in 2006, and backed by over 100,000 members, the mission of is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America. While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.

Veterans for Common Sense (VCS) was formed in August 2002 as a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization by war veterans who believe that we, the people of the United States of America, are most secure when our country is free, strong, and responsibly engaged with the world. Our mission, based on the pragmatic ideals of the American patriot Thomas Paine, is to raise the unique and powerful voices of veterans so that our military, veterans, freedom, and national security are protected and enhanced, for ourselves and for future generations.

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