(Washington, D.C. ) –
guise of government reform, of ridding the federal bureaucracy of ‘unneeded’
agencies and ‘unwanted’ programs, two bills – H.R. 5766, which would create
a Federal Review Commission, and H.R. 3282, the Abolishment of Obsolete
Agencies and Federal Sunset Act – have been fast-tracked for consideration
on the floor of the House this week,” John Rowan, National President of
Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA), said today in a letter to Members of
“VVA adamantly opposes the enactment of these anti-democratic bills. If
passed, they would empower unelected commissions to usurp the oversight role
of Congress. They represent a bald- faced attack on protections inherent in
our Constitution, not a welcome attempt at government reform,” Rowan said.
“They would set a dangerous precedent: If Congress or the President can’t
muster enough votes to do away with a program or agency they find
bothersome, those in power would have a commission they can depend on do
what they have neither the political will nor popular support to do.
“These bills are no more than a brazen, backdoor attempt by those who would
roll back programs that have become part of the fabric of our republic,”
Rowan said. “While veterans’ programs may not be specifically targeted,
there is every indication that they would be adversely affected should a
sunset commission become law. Given the events of the past few years, it is
clear to us that Post-traumatic Stress Disorder treatment and compensation
programs would be among the first to be targeted, along with special
programs at the VA for blinded veterans, those with traumatic brain
injuries, and any program that addresses toxic exposures, such as Agent
Orange and Gulf War Illness.
“We need more accountability, not less, and greater transparency in
determining what programs are needed because they are doing what they were
created to do, and what programs ought to be ended, because either they are
not doing what they were created to do or their mission is completed and
they are no longer needed.”
On behalf of the members of VVA, Rowan urged Members of Congress to vote
“Nay” when H.R. 5766 and H.R. 3282 come to a vote.