The Year of Moving Forward

The Year of Moving Forward
At our 4 person wedding reception in DC

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

McCain's Record on Veterans...Poor

One of those suspicious (not so) “anonymous” commenter's left this earlier… after my comment that said John McCain does not support veterans.

“...does not support veterans???? LMAO...omg.You are hilarious!!! He has gone to Iraq and actually TALKED to the soldiers, didn't just do a photo op. Not only is he FOR veterans....HE IS ONE....”

Now, if that anonymous person will only read this, and see that each and every entry is documented, he or she will learn that yes, John McCain has a sorry record when it comes to supporting veterans. And look, read the Obama stuff too. There are serious issues confronting our veterans, and we have treated them like crap.

From AFL/CIO with plenty of documentation.


McCain Opposes the 21st Century GI Bill Because It Is Too Generous. McCain did not vote on the GI Bill that will provide better educational opportunities to veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, paying full tuition at in-state schools and living expenses for those who have served at least three years since the 9/11 attacks. McCain said he opposes the bill because he thinks the generous benefits would “encourage more people to leave the military.” (S.Amdt. 4803 to H.R. 2642, Vote 137, 5/22/08; Chattanooga Times Free Press, 6/2/08; Boston Globe, 5/23/08;, 5/26/08)

McCain Voted Against Increased Funding for Veterans’ Health Care. Although McCain told voters at a campaign rally that improving veterans’ health care was his top domestic priority, he voted against increasing funding for veterans’ health care in 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. (Greenville News, 12/12/2007; S.Amdt. 2745 to S.C.R. 95, Vote 40, 3/10/04; Senate S.C.R. 18, Vote 55, 3/16/05; S.Amdt. 3007 to S.C.R. 83, Vote 41, 3/14/06; H.R. 1591, Vote 126, 3/29/07)

Opposed an Assured Funding Stream for Veterans’ Health Care. McCain opposed providing an assured funding stream for veterans’ health care, taking into account annual changes in veterans’ population and inflation. (S.Amdt. 3141 to S.C.R. 83, Vote 63, 3/16/06)
McCain Voted Against Adding More Than $400 Million for Veterans’ Care. McCain was one of 13 Republicans to vote against providing an additional $430 million to the Department of Veterans Affairs for outpatient care and treatment for veterans. (S.Amdt. 3642 to H.R. 4939, Vote 98, 4/26/06)

Voted Against Establishing a $1 Billion Trust Fund for Military Health Facilities. McCain voted against establishing a $1 billion trust fund to improve military health facilities by refusing to repeal tax cuts for those making more than $1 million a year. (S.Amdt. 2735 to S.Amdt. 2707 to H.R. 4297, Vote 7, 2/2/06)

McCain Opposed $500 Million for Counseling Services for Veterans with Mental Disorders. McCain voted against an amendment to appropriate $500 million annually from 2006-2010 for counseling, mental health and rehabilitation services for veterans diagnosed with mental illness, post traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse. (S. 2020, S.Amdt. 2634, Vote 343, 11/17/05)

McCain Voted in Support of Disabled Veterans Only 25 Percent of the Time from 2004-2005. While McCain claims he “has been a leading advocate” for veterans with disabilities, statistics show he supported the Disabled American Veterans’ interests only 25 percent of the time in 2004-2005. In 2006 that figure slipped to 20 percent of the time. (Project Vote Smart)

McCain Voted Against Providing Automatic Cost-of-Living Adjustments to Veterans. McCain voted against providing automatic annual cost-of living adjustments for certain veterans’ benefits. (S. 869, Vote 259, 11/20/91)


McCain Opposed Increasing Spending on TRICARE and Giving Greater Access to National Guard and Reservists. Although his campaign website devotes a large section to veterans issues, including expanding benefits for reservists and members of the National Guard, McCain voted against increasing spending on the TRICARE program by $20.3 billion over 10 years to give members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families greater access to the health care program. The increase would be offset by a reduction in tax cuts for the wealthy. ( Issues/9cb5d2aa-f237-464e-9cdf-a5ad32771b9f.htm; S.Amdt. 324 to S.C.R. 23, Vote 81, 3/25/03)


McCain Supported Outsourcing VA Jobs. McCain opposed an amendment that would have prevented the Department of Veterans Affairs from outsourcing jobs, many held by blue-collar veterans, without first giving the workers a chance to compete. (S.Amdt. 2673 to H.R. 2642, Vote 315, 9/6/07)

He Also Supported Outsourcing at Walter Reed. McCain opposed an amendment to prevent the outsourcing of 350 federal employee jobs at Walter Reed Army Medical Center—outsourcing that contributed to the scandalous treatment of veterans at Walter Reed that McCain called a “disgrace.” (S.Amdt. 4895 to H.R. 5631, Vote 234, 9/6/06; Speech to VFW in Kansas City, Mo., 4/4/08)


2003: McCain Voted Against $122.7 Billion for Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain voted against an appropriations bill that included $122.7 billion in fiscal 2004 for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Housing and Urban Development and other related agencies. (H.R. 2861, Vote 449, 11/12/03)

2001: McCain Voted Against $51 Billion in Veterans Funding. McCain was one of five senators to vote against the bill and seven to vote against the conference report that provided $51.1 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as funding for the federal housing, environmental and emergency management agencies and NASA. (H.R. 2620, Vote 334, 11/8/01; Vote 269, 8/2/01)

2000: McCain Voted Against $47 Billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain was one of eight senators to vote against a bill that provided $47 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs. (H.R. 4635, Vote 272, 10/12/00)

1999: McCain Voted Against $44.3 Billion for Veterans Programs. McCain was one of five senators to vote against a bill providing $44.3 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs, plus funding for other federal agencies. (H.R. 2684, Vote 328, 10/15/99)

1996: McCain Voted Against a $13 Billion Increase in Funding for Veterans Programs. McCain voted against an amendment to increase spending on veterans programs by $13 billion. (S.C.R. 57, Vote 115, 5/16/96)

1995: McCain Voted to Underfund Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain voted for an appropriations bill that underfunded the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development by $8.9 billion. (H.R. 2099, Vote 470, 9/27/95)

1995: McCain Voted Against Closing Tax Loopholes to Increase Veterans Funding by $74 Million. McCain voted against eliminating tax breaks and closing tax loopholes to provide revenue to restore some of the proposed cuts in Veterans Affairs spending. (S.C.R. 13, Vote 226, 5/25/95)

1994: McCain Voted Against Funding the Department of Veterans Affairs. McCain was one of nine senators to vote against appropriating $90 billion in budget authority for the Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development departments. (H.R. 4624, Vote 306, 9/27/94)

Barack Obama's Plan

A Sacred Trust

Barack Obama believes America has a sacred trust with our veterans. He is committed to creating a 21st Century Department of Veterans' Affairs that provides the care and benefits our nation's veterans deserve.

Allow All Veterans Back into the VA: One of Obama's first acts will be reversing the 2003 ban on enrolling modest-income veterans, which has denied care to a million veterans.

Strengthen VA Care: Obama will make the VA a leader of national health care reform so that veterans get the best care possible. He will improve care for polytrauma, vision impairment, prosthetics, spinal cord injury, aging, and women's health.

Combat Homelessness among Our Nation's Veterans: Obama will establish a national "zero tolerance" policy for veterans falling into homelessness by expanding proven programs and launching innovative services to prevent veterans from falling into homelessness.

Fight Veterans Employment Discrimination: Obama will crack down on employers who commit job discrimination against guardsmen and reservists.

Help for Returning Service Members

Obama will improve the quality of health care for veterans, rebuild the VA's broken benefits system, and combat homelessness among veterans.

Ensure a Seamless Transition: Obama will demand that the military and the VA coordinate to provide a seamless transition from active duty to civilian life.

Fully Fund VA Medical Care: Barack Obama will fully fund the VA so it has all the resources it needs to serve the veterans who need it, when they need it. Obama will establish a world-class VA Planning Division to avoid future budget shortfalls.

Fix the Benefits Bureaucracy: Obama will hire additional claims workers, and improve training and accountability so that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently. He also will transform the paper benefit claims process to an electronic one to reduce errors and improve timeliness.

Improved Mental Health Treatment

Obama will improve mental health treatment for troops and veterans suffering from combat-related psychological injuries.

Improve Mental Health Treatment: Obama will improve mental health care at every stage of military service. He will recruit more health professionals, improve screening, offer more support to families and make PTSD benefits claims fairer.

Improve Care for Traumatic Brain Injury: Obama will establish standards of care for Traumatic Brain Injury, the signature injury of the Iraq war.

Expand Vet Centers: Obama will expand and strengthen Vet Centers to provide more counseling for vets and their families.

Barack Obama's Record

Record of Advocacy: As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Obama passed legislation to improve care and slash red tape for our wounded warriors recovering at places like Walter Reed. He passed laws to help homeless veterans and offered an innovative solution to prevent at-risk veterans from falling into homelessness. Obama led a bipartisan effort in the Senate to try to halt the military's unfair practice of discharging service members for having a service-connected psychological injury. He fought for fair treatment of Illinois veterans' claims and forced the VA to conduct an unprecedented outreach campaign to disabled veterans with lower than-average benefits. Obama passed legislation to stop a VA review of closed PTSD cases that could have led to a reduction in veterans' benefits. He passed an amendment to ensure that all service members returning from Iraq are properly screened for traumatic brain injuries. He introduced legislation to direct the VA and Pentagon to fix disjointed records systems and improve outreach to members of the National Guard and Reserves.

If you are a veteran and want to support Obama, Join Veterans for Obama now.


Anonymous said...

FYI. I just returned from a week in the West Virginia mountains; where as an aside, I just happened to go to, two (2) that's T W O,(2) flea-markets, made-up of mostly out-of-work veteran's from Viet Nam and one guy from the Second World War. Not one, I mean NOT even one, was suporting McCain for the presidency. They had reservations about Obama, but they ALL planned to vote, "straight Democrat," on Nov. 4. Now, this is the state that went overwhelmingly for Sen. Hillary Clinton in the primary and they love her dearly, but have also come to know that as veterans - McCain does NOT represent them!

Anonymous said...

joe i love to read your opinions. but it's easy for obama to promise that he will do just about anything to be elected. but his record for doing anything is a lot short. mccain is not my favored choice either, but lord help us all if our next president is barack hussein obama.

Anonymous said...

I read with interest your review of the actions by both candidates. Re the record of McCain: As has become the standard in these elections, half truths and absolute falsehoods make the day. In each of the cases you have reported the surface information. Were there any riders on each of the bills which made them less than palatable to Sen McCain. This bit of information which may have led to his voting against the bill has not been divulged. Until there is such a thing as a line item veto and other means of discerning against what may be a favorable bill there will be votes against and should be vetoes. Tell the entire story. Of course, that isn't likely to happen since you are bias towards Obama. Incidently, Obama didn't pass any legislation. He may have sponsored a bill and/or voted for it but he didn't pass it. Seems Democrats pass a lot of bills by themselves. How quaint.