On Veterans' Issues: Wetterling or Bachmann?
IQ test, question #1: can you spot a pattern in these numbers?
* Rep. Jim Oberstar (DFL): 100
* Rep. Betty McCollum (DFL): 100
* Rep. Martin Sabo (DFL): 100
* Sen. Mark Dayton (DFL): 92
* Rep. Collin Peterson (DFL): 60
* Sen. Norm Coleman (GOP): 50
* Rep. Gil Gutknecht (GOP): 20
* Rep. Jim Ramstad (GOP): 20
* Rep. Mark Kennedy (GOP): 20
* Rep. John Kline (GOP): 0
Those would be the % ratings of the Minnesota delegation on veterans' issues for the year 2005, as assigned by the non-partisan Disabled American Veterans. The ratings are based on the general principle that "this nation’s first duty to veterans is the rehabilitation and welfare of its wartime disabled" -- the organization's overarching mission statement. (You can read about more of their policy concerns here.)
So, back to the IQ test-- do I need to spell it out for you? Obviously, judging from this list (as well as the national ratings), the party with the best record is the Democrats. Where would Michele Bachmann fit on this list? Would she follow her Republican brethren (and they are overwhelmingly brethren) in voting against the interests of American veterans? Or would she break the trend?
We must do better for those who serve. If we can spend billions of dollars to rebuild Iraq, we can find the money to protect the lives and livelihoods of the Americans we send to do it: they should never have to worry about losing their pay, their health insurance, or their homes.
As long as American lives are at risk, Congress must do everything it can to support our armed forces and see that our soldiers have the equipment and supplies that they need to do their jobs.
...and, specifically, on disabled veterans' issues:
Disabled veterans have sacrificed greatly for this country and we owe them a debt that we can never hope to repay, yet current law is shortchanging them. Disabled military veterans must be allowed to receive their full retirement benefits and I will work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to see that that inequity is corrected.