IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release

December 6, 2001

No. 01-33
(301) 585-4000
Contact:
Mokie Porter

VETERANS DENOUNCES PARLIAMENTARY GAMESMANSHIP
Vietnam Veterans of America Condemns "Anonymous" Legislative "Holds"

 


(Washington, DC) -- The nation's leading Vietnam veterans advocacy organization today denounced Senate parliamentary tactics that are delaying the delivery of vitally needed services and benefits to veterans.

"Anonymous legislative 'holds' on critical veterans’ bills are mean-spirited and cruel," said Thomas H. Corey, national president of Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA). "In this holiday season, it is really sad that senators are using disabled and homeless veterans as hostages as they struggle with other issues.  Homeless veterans are cold and hungry, while the Senate carries on an ideological debate.  This behavior is unworthy of this Senate.  In this holiday season, it is time to pass S. 1088 and S. 739 (Homeless Veterans Act)." 

Corey was referring to legislative "holds" that have been placed on S. 1088, The Veterans' Benefit Improvement Act of 2001, and S. 739. The bill was passed unanimously by the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee over the summer. Among the measures contained in the bill are improvements to the Montgomery GI Bill, key claims-related provisions affecting Vietnam and Gulf War veterans, and enhancements to the VA's home loan program. 

The 107th Congress has not produced many tangible improvements for veterans programs during the first session. Veteran's health care programs remain grossly underfunded, even as a new generation of Americans fight the war on terrorism. Corey called for an immediate end to the legislative gamesmanship. 

"Our veterans will remember this episode during the 2002 election cycle. They will be guided in their voting choice by one overriding criterion: Did he or she do the right thing with regard to the lives of their veteran constituents? We will be watching...and we will remember." 

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Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) is the nation's only congressionally chartered veterans service organization dedicated solely to the needs of Vietnam-era veterans and their families.  VVA's founding principle is  "Never again will one generation of veterans abandon another."   

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