Buyer has tried to redefine who is a veteran... Shortly after winning the chair at
HVAC Buyer said, “Some of the veterans service organizations, they are having
this belief that everyone should have open access to the VA system, when in fact
I believe that the VA system should follow its core constituency and the intent
of Congress when we laid out our priorities, and that was in fact to take care
of our disabled and indigent veterans first.” So, what is happening here? Buyer
is trying to redefine “veteran” and in so-doing reshape benefit programs to meet
his new definition. In short, this means fewer benefits for fewer veterans. The
two keys here are Buyer’s references to “intent of Congress” and “core
constituency.” By rejecting the “intent of Congress” when they passed
legislation defining benefits and eligibility Buyer is telling us Congress was
wrong and he is going to change it. By referring to the VA’s “core constituency”
as “disabled and indigent veterans” he is eliminating veterans who do not fall
into those categories.
Steven, it's not your place to say who is a Veteran and who is entitled or not entitled to health care! We know you had a job to carry out, the simple dirty work of the bu$h Admini$tration!
Well Steven, you may have been re-elected but you will no longer have the Veteran's or their Service Organizations to "kick around". Your slash and burn tactics will no longer work!
Buyer has tried to lockout the veterans' service organizations (VSO's) from the VA's
budget process... Buyer is known in the Republican Party as a team-player
who does not stray from the Party line. In the veterans’ community, Buyer is
known as a hard-liner who tenaciously resists any effort to fully fund VA health
care. Last Tuesday (Nov. 8, 2005), in a press release, Buyer announced he would
now be holding hearings on the VA budget in February instead of March. The
hearings would be before the HCVA only, not the traditional House and Senate
venue. Buyer said he was doing this to “ensure that veterans have greater input
in the [VA’s budget] process.” (Buyer’s press flack, Jeff Phillips, wrote this
and he’s a master at making the really bad sound really good.) For almost two
days this seemingly “little” news story went unnoticed. Then the firestorm
struck. VSOs realized that Rep. Buyer was trying to pull a “fast one” with their annual VA budget testimony. For 55 years the VSOs have come to Capitol Hill in March to testify before a joint session of the HCVA and Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs (SCVA). Now, Rep. Buyer will limit VSO testimony to just the HCVA, thus eliminating access to the Senators who are directly involved in the VA budget process. But, there is a political side to Rep. Buyer’s decision. By
moving the testimony from March back to February, VSOs come to the table with
only part of the information they need to adequately make recommendations on the
VA budget. During the Joint Committee hearings held in March, VSOs have had the
VA’s budget request AND the White House’s response to that request (generally a
lower dollar amount). And, there would be enough time to analyze both sets of
figures and give testimony in the best interest of veterans. With the single
committee hearing moved to February, the VSOs would have to outline their VA
budget priorities at the SAME TIME the White House figures are released. There
wouldn’t be time to go through the White House’s VA budget numbers and come up
with a response. The VSOs dismissed Rep. Buyer’s contention that the February
hearings would give them greater influence on the VA’s budget. They claim Buyer
is seeking to avoid the public relations nightmare of having angry veterans’
groups blasting the White House. “Some people don’t want to be criticized for
being deficient,” said Richard Fuller, legislative director for the Paralyzed
Veterans of America. This move is Rep. Buyer’s way of paying back the White
House for his Chair on the HCVA. With February hearings, VSOs would not be able
to criticize the low dollar figure offered by the White House for the VA budget.
Rep Buyer is doing his job by protecting the White House from criticism by VSOs
who have become increasingly vocal about the Bush Administration’s underfunding
of the VA.
Buyer has used third-party slurs to push his anti-veteran agenda...
One of Rep. Buyer’s third-party, anti-veteran slurs came earlier this year when
he referred to veterans as “whiny” because they complained about proposed cuts
in Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) benefits. When questioned about his use
of the word “whiny,” Buyer said that “others” have called veterans “whiny.” When
the reporter asked who actually used the word “whiny,” Buyer refused to answer.
So, Rep. Buyer got out his message that veterans are “whiny” when confronted
with losing VA benefits and he was able to disassociate himself from the
statement by saying someone else said it... VA Secretary Jim Nicholson had just
announced the cancellation of the VA’s review of 72,000 Post-Traumatic Stress
Disorder (PTSD) claims that had already been awarded at 100 per cent disability.
The VA had looked to lower or deny PTSD benefits based on faulty record-keeping
on their part. Praise for the VA’s decision to cancel the review came from both
sides of the political aisle. Rep. Buyer had not opposed the review of the PTSD
claims and his press release was mean-spirited and misleading. Buyer said,
“Today the [VA] announced their decision to conclude the review of 72,000 [PTSD]
cases…Very few claims were found to be fraudulent.” This statement would lead
people to believe that veterans had been committing fraud to receive benefits
Buyer wants a VA run by political appointees instead of healthcare professionals... House Vets' Chair wants to get rid of VA professionals and replace them with political appointees - Says agency must be run like a business - And, wants vets to pay for their healthcare with enrollment fees, deductibles and co-pays.
Now onto Senator Larry Craig. Besides the accusations of him being part of the republi-con gay agenda , I could take up pages detailing the harm this small-minded man has done to Veterans and the VA system.
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