Rather than showing leadership, House Republicans decided to mix apples and oranges. Now the rest of us will have to pay for it. According to the Office of Management and Budget, the shutdown will cost taxpayers about two billion dollars.
The budget is the budget, and it was supposed to be in place by October 1st. By law, the House and the Senate have to agree on a budget and send it to the President to sign.
But House Republicans don’t like the Affordable Health Care Act. So instead of doing their jobs and passing a budget to prevent a shutdown, House Republicans threw a hissy fit and decided to shutdown the government to show their displeasure.
As the Wall Street Journal points out, “This is the height of hypocrisy.” Congress passed a special exemption the Affordable Health Care Act for Congress and Congressional staffers, so they are not affected by the new health care law. But House Speaker John “Bonehead” Boehner thinks this is leadership.
No matter how you look at it, when Boehner and the House Republicans shutdown the federal government today, they gave America’s veterans the shaft, because the Department of Veterans Affairs is not fully funded.
Some VA programs are totally dependent on having a federal budget in place. Without a budget in place those programs go into limbo.
The VA Outpatient Clinics are fully funded and will be open to serve veterans during the shutdown.
But compensation and pension checks are not fully funded, and the Department of Veterans Affairs told USA Today that if the shutdown continues into late October, it will run out of money for compensation and pension checks.
More than 3.6 million veterans receive compensation from the VA for service- or combat-related wounds and injuries. Those 3.6 million veterans rely on that money to support themselves. Without those payments, some veterans won’t be able to make ends meet.
As Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth pointed out during a House hearing in July, Iraq and Afghan War veterans have to wait an average of 267 days for the VA to process’ their disability claims for Traumatic Brain Injury, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and other serious wounds.
Because of the Republican’s shutdown, that delay will grow even longer, and that leaves Iraq and Afghan War veterans caught between a rock and a hard place.
Two billion dollars down the drain; veterans’ benefits cut off, and House Republicans are proud of it.
If you think that this shutdown is a bonehead idea, let Speaker John Boehner know.
- Call Speaker John Boehner at his Washington, D.C. Office (202-225-6205) and give him a piece of your mind.
- Log on to the Speaker of the House website, and fill in the form, then click Submit.
It's time to tell Congress that veterans are more important than partisan politics.