Jump to content
Ads Keep HadIt.com Online. Consider Turning Off Ad Blockers to Keep HadIt.com Online! ×
  • 0

For Your Information


mssoup1

Question

May 19, 9:27 PM EDT

House Conservatives Cut $500M Off Vet Bill

By JIM ABRAMS

Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON (AP) -- House conservatives, rejecting protests from fellow Republicans who said they were depriving troops of needed support, stripped $500 million in military construction projects from a veterans spending bill Friday.

Democrats blamed GOP-backed tax cuts and a tight budget passed two days ago for creating a fiscal crisis leading to the cuts, most of which were for new facilities at various military bases. The bill provides a 10 percent increase for veterans programs.

"I don't know why they (the troops) should be stuck in the middle of a family squabble within the Republican Party," said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.

The conservatives, led by Rep. Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, used parliamentary procedures to delete some 20 projects worth $507 million from the $94 billion spending bill for military construction and veterans programs in fiscal 2007, which will begin Oct. 1. The overall bill passed 395-0.

Writers of the legislation, seeking to meet limits outlined in the just-passed budget, had taken the money for the projects from a $50 billion war reserve to fund urgent projects, a move characterized by both conservatives and Democrats as a budgetary gimmick.

Rep. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., a fiscal hawk, asked how $18.1 million for a bachelor enlisted quarters at Camp Pendleton in California or $102 million for a brigade complex at Fort Lewis, Washington, could be considered emergency spending.

"The ink is not even dry on the budget and we are already attempting to violate it, and that's simply not right," said Hensarling.

The conservatives also noted the bill contained some 66 other earmarks, or projects requested by individual members, costing the same $500 million.

Latest News

Wis. Bill to Give Free Tuition to Veterans

Interactives

Congressional Pensions

But Rep. James Walsh, R-N.Y., chairman of the subcommittee that wrote the bill, slammed Hensarling, saying, "He does not understand that we are at war."

"Please don't come out here and lecture us," Rep. Ray LaHood of Illinois, another GOP member of the Appropriations Committee, told the conservatives. "Pick another bill, not this one."

Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., a leader of the conservatives, told reporters this would not be the last spending battle. "I think you are going to see an ongoing effort by House conservatives to see this Congress live within our means."

Democrats also pointed out that, while the bill approves record levels of spending for veterans' and active duty health programs, it falls $735 million short because the House did not go along with a White House request for fee increases for military retirees eligible for Tricare, the Defense Department's health care system.

Rep. Chet Edwards of Texas, top Democrat on the military quality of life and veterans affairs subcommittee, said that shortfall, coupled with $316 million in underfunding for base closings and the $507 million cut from construction projects, left the bill $1.5 billion short of what was needed.

"This sends a terrible message to our troops here at home, in Iraq, and Afghanistan," Edwards said.

Democrats proposed paying for the 20 projects, the $735 million for active duty health care and the $1.82 billion increase in veterans' health care by trimming tax cuts for those making over $1 million annually. The proposed amendments were ruled out of order.

The White House, while expressing support for the legislation, issued a statement questioning some of its components. It criticized the use of war reserve funds for military construction projects, and urged Congress to eliminate the 66 earmarks that the administration had not requested.

It also opposed cuts in spending to carry out the 2005 base closing act, and urged Congress to consider administration proposals to increase copayments and enrollment fees for higher-income non-disabled veterans and for military retirees under 65 using Tricare.

The bill provides $25.4 billion for veterans' health programs, up $2.6 billion from the current fiscal year, and $21 billion for the Defense Department health program, up $1 billion. Some $5.5 billion is funded for base closing activities, $6.6 billion for military construction and $4 billion for family housing construction.

---

The bill is H.R. 5385.

On the Net:

Congress: http://thomas.loc.gov/

© 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Answers 0
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters For This Question

Popular Days

Top Posters For This Question

0 answers to this question

Recommended Posts

There have been no answers to this question yet

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.


  • veterans-crisis-line.jpg
    The Veterans Crisis Line can help even if you’re not enrolled in VA benefits or health care.

    CHAT NOW

  • question-001.jpeg

    Have Questions? Get Answers.

    Tips on posting on the forums.

    1. Post a clear title like ‘Need help preparing PTSD claim’ or “VA med center won’t schedule my surgery instead of ‘I have a question.
       
    2. Knowledgeable people who don’t have time to read all posts may skip yours if your need isn’t clear in the title.
      I don’t read all posts every login and will gravitate towards those I have more info on.
       
    3. Use paragraphs instead of one massive, rambling introduction or story.
       
      Again – You want to make it easy for others to help. If your question is buried in a monster paragraph, there are fewer who will investigate to dig it out.
     
    Leading too:

    exclamation-point.pngPost straightforward questions and then post background information.
     
    Examples:
     
    • Question A. I was previously denied for apnea – Should I refile a claim?
      • Adding Background information in your post will help members understand what information you are looking for so they can assist you in finding it.
    Rephrase the question: I was diagnosed with apnea in service and received a CPAP machine, but the claim was denied in 2008. Should I refile?
     
    • Question B. I may have PTSD- how can I be sure?
      • See how the details below give us a better understanding of what you’re claiming.
    Rephrase the question: I was involved in a traumatic incident on base in 1974 and have had nightmares ever since, but I did not go to mental health while enlisted. How can I get help?
     
    This gives members a starting point to ask clarifying questions like “Can you post the Reasons for Denial of your claim?”
     
    Note:
     
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. This process does not take long.
    • Your first posts on the board may be delayed before they appear as they are reviewed. The review requirement will usually be removed by the 6th post. However, we reserve the right to keep anyone on moderator preview.
    • This process allows us to remove spam and other junk posts before hitting the board. We want to keep the focus on VA Claims, and this helps us do that.
  • Most Common VA Disabilities Claimed for Compensation:   

    tinnitus-005.pngptsd-005.pnglumbosacral-005.pngscars-005.pnglimitation-flexion-knee-005.pngdiabetes-005.pnglimitation-motion-ankle-005.pngparalysis-005.pngdegenerative-arthitis-spine-005.pngtbi-traumatic-brain-injury-005.png

  • VA Watchdog

  • Can a 100 percent Disabled Veteran Work and Earn an Income?

    employment 2.jpeg

    You’ve just been rated 100% disabled by the Veterans Affairs. After the excitement of finally having the rating you deserve wears off, you start asking questions. One of the first questions that you might ask is this: It’s a legitimate question – rare is the Veteran that finds themselves sitting on the couch eating bon-bons … Continue reading

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

{terms] and Guidelines