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Disclaimer: The author of this site maintained the campaign weblog of John Kline's opponent in the 2006 election, which made Congressman Kline a bit testy.

As with all blogs, review the facts carefully and draw your own conclusions.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Kline Votes Against Funding Veterans' Health Care

[Disclaimer: This post was first published on Coleen Rowley's campaign weblog.]

John Kline has recently chosen to make repeated, groundless attacks on Coleen Rowley's support for veterans. We have earlier noted just how absurd this claim is, and the fact that former NATO Supreme Alied Commander Wesley Clark just endorsed Coleen is yet further proof that Kline is spreading smears without substance.

Smears without substance are all that Kline has been able to offer in this campaign.

Anyway, since Kline has chosen to make support for veterans the cornerstone of his campaign, while providing no solutions to problems like the disaster in Iraq, comprehensive ethics reform, the solution for 46 million Americans without health insurance and other issues of importance to the district, we have been closely examining John Kline's own record of support for veterans, and found it wanting. Today we call out a number of votes John Kline cast to block increased funding for veterans' health care.

7/25/2003, vote #450:
Kline Voted to Maintain VA Funding at $1.8 Billion Below its Authorized Level. The Committee on Rules rejected an amendment in the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Housing and Urban Development, and Indepenent Agencies Appropriations Act of 2004 which would increase funding for the VA by $1.8 billion to the level fully authorized in that year's budget resolution. Republicans held a floor vote confirming this ruling, which passed 229-196.

10/31/2003, vote #600:
Kline Voted Against an Additional $1.3 Billion for Veterans Medical Care. In reconciling House and Senate versions of Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, David Obey made a motion to recommit the House version of the bill to accept the Senate's larger amount for veterans' medical care. The motion was defeated, 198-221.

3/25/2004, vote #91:
Kline Voted Against a $2.5 Billion Increase in Veterans Health Care. Spratt of South Carolina proposed adding $2.5 billion to the FY 2005 budget for veterans' health care --- money which the Republican chairman of the Committee on Veterans' Affairs agreed was needed in order to prevent cuts to veterans' health care in a time of war. The amendment was defeated, 194-232.

3/15/2005, vote #69:
Kline Voted to Block Consideration of an Amendment to Increase Veterans Health Care by $1.2 Billion.

3/16/2005, vote #76:
Kline Opposed $150 Million for Military Health Care and Job Training. In 2005, Kline voted against a proposal to the budget to increase funding for military health care by $100 million and transitional job training for military personnel by $50 million. This proposal came in place of a $1.3 billion proposal which had been ruled out of order. The proposed increase failed, 200-229.

5/26/2005, vote #224:
Kline Voted Against $53 Million Boost for Veterans Health Care & Benefits, When A Single Vote Made the Difference. In 2005, Kline voted against an amendment to the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs funding bill to add $53 million for veterans health care and other benefits, offset by a 9 percent cut to BRAC. The amendment would add $8 million for combat-related trauma care, $6 million for poly-trauma centers to support wounded troops once they return to their homes, $9 million for VA medical and prosthetic research and $7 million for 100 additional staff who process claims for compensation and pension benefits. Finally, the amendment would provide $23 million to help approximately 4,100 spouses of service members with children whose spouse died during the War on Terrorism between September 11, 2001 and November 30, 2004 by making them eligible for Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. The amendment failed, 213-214. This is one of the votes contributing to Kine's zero rating from DAV in 2005.

For those of you keeping score at home, this brings the total number of votes Kline has cast against veterans' interests to 15. And we're actually not done yet. The group Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, "the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the Troops and Veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the civilian supporters of those Troops and Veterans," recently gave out their congressional report card based on a comprehensive analysis of the voting record, and gave John Kline a C. We'll wrap up our analysis of John Kline's voting record by mentioning a couple of key votes IAVA noted.

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