Courage for America, Veterans Commemorate Veterans Day; Call on Congress to Reject Extremism and Back Off Veterans’ Benefits Once and for All
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Courage for America Council Members and veterans Naveed Shah and Peter Lucier commemorated Veterans Day and called on Congress and House Speaker Mike Johnson to stop putting veterans’ benefits on the chopping block.
“The veterans I served with and have met since leaving the military are some of the most selfless people I know. Many of us joined to serve during wartime, knowing the risks and sacrifices we would have to make. Instead of gratitude from our country, we are too often faced with the prospect of losing benefits we earned,” said Naveed Shah, Courage for America Council Member and U.S. Army Veteran. “For members of Congress who pay lip service by thanking us for our service today, we need them to be courageous and stand up to extremists who want to cut benefits we all pay into like Social Security. We cannot expect young people to serve their country if they can see with their own eyes that Congress will not respect or value their service and targeting their benefits.”
“On Veterans Day, Americans seek ways to thank veterans for the sacrifices they made in protection of our nation and our democracy. While free meals at restaurants, themed jerseys, and other tributes are welcome ways to commemorate those who served, striving to live up to ‘earn this’ is the highest form of thanks veterans can receive – striving to make the country and our democracy worthy of veterans’ sacrifices,” said Peter Lucier, Courage for America Councilmember and U.S. Marine Corps veteran. “The extremist brand of politics practiced by some current members of the House is not ‘earning it.’ Extremist House members attack bedrock principles of democracy, and do so in a manner unbecoming of the nation we should strive to be. This Veterans Day, we can thank veterans by demanding accountability from elected leaders. By striving for a government we can be proud of, rather than one that makes us want to change the channel. By earning it.”
MORE INFORMATION ON ANTI-VETERAN VOTES FROM GOP HOUSE THIS YEAR:
- In April 2023, 217 Republicans voted for the Default on America Act, which made drastic cuts to veterans’ health care and other benefits and would have:
- Resulted in 30 million fewer outpatient health care visits for veterans at VA health centers, impacting cancer screenings, mental health care, substance disorder treatments, and general wellness visits.
- Increased wait times for veterans and their families to receive benefits, including for pensions and life insurance.
- Impaired the VA’s ability to expand access to telehealth services, particularly harming veterans in rural areas.
- Delayed and impaired the ability of the VA to construct new health care facilities and to maintain cemeteries housing veterans and their families.
- In July 2023, 219 Republicans voted for the Department of Veterans Affairs and Military Construction Appropriations bill, which would further cut veterans’ health care by prohibiting VA medical centers from providing abortion services and gender-affirming health care.
MORE INFORMATION ON NEW SPEAKER MIKE JOHNSON’S ANTI-VETERAN VOTING RECORD:
- Johnson was one of only 88 House members to vote against the bipartisan Honoring Our PACT Act, the largest expansion of veterans benefits and services in decades. The PACT Act expanded crucial health care services to veterans exposed to burn pits and other toxins while in the line of duty.
- Johnson was one of only 43 House members to vote against the bipartisan Student Veteran Work Study Modernization Act to establish a pilot work-study program for veterans.
- Johnson voted against the bipartisan Ensuring Veterans’ Smooth Transition (EVEST) Act to automatically enroll eligible veterans in VA health care services.
- Johnson voted against the bipartisan Guard And Reserve G.I. Bill Parity Act, which provided new veterans with information regarding their eligibility for health care services and helped National Guard and Reserve troops qualify for education benefits.