Homeless veterans could lose 10,000 housing vouchers
By Rob Hotakainen | McClatchy Newspapers
WASHINGTON — Top Senate Democrats raised loud objections Thursday to a plan by Republicans in the House of Representatives that they said would eliminate 10,000 housing vouchers for homeless veterans this year, an effort to save $75 million from the 2011 federal budget.
"I believe it's immoral," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, urging House Republicans to abandon the plan.
Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray, D-Wash., called the proposal "astounding" and said no federal budget should shortchange the most vulnerable Americans. She wants to eliminate homelessness among U.S. veterans.
"We owe it to our veterans to provide them with the resources and support they need to put a roof over their heads," Murray said. "And this is just one more example of the Republicans' reckless budget that puts politics and ideology over families, communities and even those who have served and sacrificed for our nation."
Republicans defended the plan by noting that thousands of vouchers have gone unclaimed this year.
"The fact of the matter is there will not be a veteran, a homeless vet, that will not get a voucher," Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, said during a debate on the House floor. "The fact of the matter is there are 30,000 vouchers available today. Only 19,000 of those have been used. There are 11,000 vouchers waiting."
But Rep. Norm Dicks of Washington state, the top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, cited a recent federal report that said that more than 76,000 veterans were homeless on any given night in the United States and that veterans were 50 percent more likely to be homeless.
"Yet the majority's bill turns its back on our homeless vets, leaving them literally out in the cold," Dicks said.
One of the consistent stories that always gets my goat, because of it's sheer lunacy, is that the GOP is allowed to wrap itself in the flag, like they are such patriots. Like they care about the U.S. Military. They don't give a rat's ass about the US Military.
DEFENSE CONTRACTORS AND THEIR WEAPONS SYSTEMS?
Yes, they'll fight to the death to give another no-bid contract to a Defense Contractor.
But, the average serviceman and woman and anything that would help them, or their families?
Look at their RECORDS.
Look at their VOTES.
Time and time again, if something comes up that will help the average serviceman or woman, they always have an excuse as to WHY they just couldn't find it in themselves to vote for the funding to help the regular soldier.
They encouraged the ' privatization' of services that went to the the little guy, which resulted in the horridness that was Walter Reed, as well as defective food and water served to our troops via Haliburton. But, since it was a 'private' company, it had to be better than the service they received from 'government' employees.
When this President expanded the parameters for PTSD and the treatment levels for it, who was out there complaining about a) how much money it would cost, and b) that there would be too many cases (due to fraud)? Certainly wasn't any Democratic Politicians.
What was included in crazy ass Michelle Bachmann's budget proposals ? CUTS TO VETERANS BENEFITS, until she was bitchslapped by veterans groups, then it was ' my bad...I didn't really mean it'.
As for our homeless veterans, is anyone REALLY surprised that they'd try to cut this program? Why should you be...it just follows in the pattern of how they are.