After claiming he’d support veterans during a political press conference held on September 11, Steve Pearce again demonstrated that veterans and New Mexico families can’t count on his leadership. According to the AP, the legislation “features a $5.1 billion increase for the Department of Veterans Affairs.”
“As a veteran, I find it disgusting that Steve Pearce used vets for political gain on 9/11 but he can’t be bothered to vote on our critical VA funding for New Mexico,” said Mad Hildebrant, Veterans Caucus Chair of the Democratic Party of New Mexico. “New Mexico Veterans and families deserve representatives who’ll be there when it counts, and the idea that he’d tout an empty ‘Veterans Plan’ while missing this vital vote is just shameful.”
While Pearce used Veterans in his press event, thousands upon thousands were waiting on Pearce and other members of Congress to act by finally passing an appropriations bill to fund the VA and avert a shutdown. While he found time to hold a press opportunity on September 11th, he apparently couldn’t find the time to do his job and ensure that they can access critical health care.
Legislation increases funds for care and critical VA priorities
- The FY18 VA legislation provides $73.6 billion for medical care, a 4% increase from last year, as well as $1.1 billion for a new electronic health record system, and $1.1 billion for facility construction and modernizations. Key $9.4 billion in funding for the medical community care account, which helps veterans, especially those in rural communities, access care at local providers.
Republican Speaker Paul Ryan: This “is a national security bill. It is a veterans bill.”
- Speaker Paul Ryan: “This minibus conference report is a national security bill. It is a veterans bill. It provides critical funding to rebuild our military infrastructure, it strengthens our electrical grid, and it supports our nuclear weapons programs. It puts historic resources behind the reforms that we’ve made to improve health care at the VA.”
Republican Veterans Committee Chair: “This legislation is essential.”
- Republican Chairman Phil Roe of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs said: “This legislation is essential to ensure veterans receive the care and services they deserve, and I thank appropriators for their commitment to our nation’s heroes.”