From Chairman Chet Edwards of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies:
Chairman Chet Edwards Response to White House Veto Threat of the 2009 Veterans Appropriations Bill
(Washington, D.C.) — U.S Representative Chet Edwards (D-Waco), Chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, released the following statement in response to the veto threat issued by the White House on the Fiscal Year 2009 bill scheduled for a House vote this week.
“This is a slap in the face to every veteran in the nation, especially our Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans. I do not understand the values that would suggest, during a time of war, we provide tax breaks for people making over $1 million a year, but we cannot afford to provide the health care our veterans deserve and the housing our troops need.
“In my 18 years in Congress, this is one of the worst decisions I have ever seen come out of the White House and OMB. For a country to send its sons and daughters to war and then to cut corners on their health care, benefits, and housing when they return home does not reflect the values of the American people. I believe our veterans, military families, and the American family will be as offended by this veto threat as I am.”
In his first year as Chairman of the House Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Subcommittee in 2007, Congressman Edwards authored a historic increase of $11.8 billion in veterans' health care and benefits, the largest increase in veterans funding in the 77-year history of the Veterans Administration (VA).