By Rep. Steve Buyer (R-Ind.) - 10/27/10 07:10 PM EDT
The article titled “Veterans group gives Congress low marks” (Oct. 20) in The Hill featured an unfair and misleading “report card” that is little more than political propaganda.
The political nature of the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America report card speaks for itself. The vast majority of high scores were attributed to Democrats and low ones to Republicans.
It is based on a limited number of votes, some of which involved controversial issues such as repealing the military’s ban on open homosexuality. No consideration was afforded to members’ efforts outside of their votes on this tiny group of bills.
In doing so, the report card omits numerous veterans’ healthcare and benefits provisions that were introduced and advocated by Republican members, such as providing a 50 percent increase in compensation payments for severely injured veterans who require regular aid and attendance and increasing compensation for surviving spouses.
Many Republican initiatives to improve the lives of veterans and their families are encompassed within bills that were enacted, but this fact is indiscernible to anyone who uses this unfair report as their sole source of information.
It is unfortunate that a veterans’ organization has politicized itself in this manner. As a veteran myself, I embrace the collective spirit that military men and women share in serving under one banner. That banner is the American flag, not the symbol of a political party. Veterans’ organizations should uphold that same standard and represent all of the men and women who served in uniform.
I encourage everyone to visit our website and consider the numerous Republican efforts on behalf of veterans and then compare them with the bogus report card featured in the article. Upon doing so, I expect that any fair-minded and objective person will conclude that it is not a mere coincidence that almost every member receiving an A-plus score is a Democrat in a tightly contested race.
Rep. Buyer is the ranking member of the Committee on Veterans Affairs