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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.

Friday, October 27, 2006

More of Kline's Votes on Veterans' Issues

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

Over the past few days, we've been documenting John Kline's voting record on veterans' issues. We noted earlier how Kline consistently places a higher priority on Bush's tax cuts for the wealthy than on helping veterans, and how he has voted several times against legislation that would smooth a veteran's transition back into American society after returning from overseas.

Today's votes don't really have a theme, other than they are more examples of John Kline choosing not to help veterans when he had the chance.

3/15/2005, vote #71:
Kline Voted Against Consideration of an Additional $3 Billion for Veterans Health Care in the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan. In the words of Rep. Filner, author of the tabled amendment: "Those who are coming back today from Afghanistan and Iraq, the vast majority have the potential of having post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD; and yet when they will need the services in the coming year, we will have reduced those PTSD services because of the cut in the budget that the President has proposed and this Republican Congress will approve.

We will cut nursing care. We will cut research. We will cut prosthetic devices. But we will add more waiting time for those who want a mental health examination or a dental examination. We will add months and months and months to the waiting time for those who want their claims established. Yet when I asked today for $3 billion, the majority of this House said no.

We can afford the $81 billion. It was for our active duty. We can afford a $7.5 trillion debt. We can go into deficits for $400 billion this year, but no, no, let us not pay that $3 billion for our veterans." The amendment was not considered 224-200. This is one of the votes contributing to Kine's zero rating from DAV in 2005.

3/17/2005, vote #87:
Kline Voted Against Rescinding Cuts to Veterans Programs. John Spratt offered an amendment to the 2006 budget resolution to rescind mandatory cuts likely to fall on Medicaid, veterans, student loans, and other services; provide increased funding for important domestic priorities, such as education, veterans, community and regional development, and the environment; and impose a pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) rule, which protects the Social Security Trust Fund surplus by requiring that any mandatory spending increases or tax cuts be fully offset. The amendment failed, 165-264. This is one of the votes contributing to Kine's zero rating from DAV in 2005.

(It's worth noting here that Coleen supports re-implementing the PAYGO rule.)

5/25/2005, vote #221:
Kline Opposed Expanding TRICARE to Thousands of National Guard & Reserve Volunteers. In 2005, Kline voted against a motion to expand access to the military's TRICARE health insurance program to thousands of reservist and National Guard members. Despite the fact that more than 433,000 members of the National Guard and Reserves have been called up for active duty over the last two and one-half years, not all Guardsmen and Reservists have access to TRICARE. A 2003 report by the General Accounting Office showed that 20 percent of all Reservists do not have health insurance, and 40 percent of Reservists aged 19 to 35 lack health coverage. According to the latest Defense Department data, 18 percent of activated Reservists have no medical coverage. Currently, only those called up for active duty are eligible for the program. The proposal would have expanded military health care to provide access to TRICARE to most members of the Guard and Reserve and their families for a low fee. The motion failed, 211-218.

(In Coleen's issues statement on veterans, she states her explicit support for the expansion of TRICARE which Kline voted down.)

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