The 2008 IAVA Veteran Report Card is out. Want to know who is working for veterans, military members, and their families in Congress, and who has a few too many yellow ribbon magnets on their cars? See you after the quantum leap…
IAVA and the Veteran Report Card
On Capitol Hill, in the media, and in communities across the country, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) is the foremost advocate for our nation’s returning warriors and their families. The IAVA Action Fund is IAVA’s non-profit, nonpartisan 501(c)4 sister organization, dedicated to educating American voters, pushing for solutions to troops’ issues and holding our elected leaders accountable for their actions. We hope this Report Card will serve as a resource to voters, media, and elected officials.
IAVA Action has taken a straightforward approach to scoring lawmakers’ support for veterans. Based on the legislative priorities
outlined in IAVA’s 2007 and 2008 Legislative Agendas, IAVA Action has selected 22 key votes on veterans’ issues in the 110th Congress (9 votes in the Senate and 13 votes in the House).
Those who voted with IAVA were given a point, and for the 21st Century GI Bill, they were give 2 points because of how AWESOME that bill is. Those who voted against it or were absent received ZERO. With the exception of Palin who was pallin around with secessionists and witch hunters while eating moose at the time, our candidates had 9 chances to vote.
The Voting of the Nine
1. Funding Veterans’ Health Care, 2007, 2/14/07
2. Funding for “MRAPs” or “Mine Resistant Ambush Protected” vehicles, 3/29/07
3. Funding Veterans’ Health Care, 2008, 9/6/07
4. Expanded Veterans’ Benefits, 10/1/07
5. Enhanced Veterans’ Benefits, 4/24/08
6. Stopping a Second Rate GI Bill, 5/14/08
7. The Post-9/11 GI Bill: Fair Education Benefits for Veterans (first vote), 5/22/08
8. The Post-9/11 GI Bill: Fair Education Benefits for Veterans (second vote), 6/26/08
9. The Post-9/11 GI Bill: Fair Education Benefits for Veterans (third vote), 6/26/08
Without further ado, here are the candidates’ ratings. Drum roll please….
Obama — B
Barack earned 7 of 11 points, including 2 for the GI Bill. He was absent 4 times.
Biden — B
Joe earned 8 of 11 points, including 2 for the GI Bill. He was absent 3 times.
McCain — D
Mac earned 3 points of 11. He was ABSENT for 6 votes! And of course, he was AGAINST the new GI Bill.
Hey Mac, thanks for playing “I Support the Troops”! We have a lovely consolation prize for you. Instead of hemming and hawing over all your homes and condos, we’ve decided to give those to the veterans, and you can have Walter Reed.
21st Century GI Bill Refresher
McCain opposed the GI Bill because it was too generous, saying that it would reduce retention. However, the same study he quoted from said that enlistment rates would nullify any reduced retention. W also was against it.
The GI Bill was passed when W got his way by having it tied to a $162 billion in war appropriations. Maybe the benefits for the veterans and military families were too porky for McStingy.
After the passage and signing into law on June 30, 2008, both W and McStingy came out saying that they had SUPPORTED the GI Bill by rallying the Congressional forces together in their now famous bipartisan way.
Here’s the bill’s sponsor Sen. Jim Webb (D, VA) speaking with Olbermann about W and McCain’s help.
The bill passed 92 to 6! The 6 senators voting NO were:
Sen. McCain was absent because he was in CA doing a campaign fundraiser. The remaining absent Senator was Sen. Kennedy (D, MA) who was recovering from brain surgery.