DSCC - Sen Sununu Sides With Pres. Bush Against Supporting Veterans

New Hampshire Senator John Sununu today voted to strip veterans at atime when our servicemen and women are facing ever greater difficulties at home. Preventing veterans funding from reaching President Bush’s desk would shield the president from vetoing another popular bill on the heels of hisveto of children’s health insurance.

“John Sununu is playing politics with our veterans, plain and simple,” DSCC spokesman Matthew Miller said. “Sununu writes a blank check for our failed strategy in Iraq one day, and pulls the pursestrings closed on our veterans the next. Come next November, the hundreds of thousands of veterans in New Hampshire along with their friends, families and communities, will remember how John Sununu turned his back on them today.”

Sununu Voted To Block Veterans Funding. Sununu put his loyalty to Bush ahead of his loyalty to veterans by voting to block veterans funding from going to the President’s desk, even though he supported the bill earlier. [Senate vote 316, 9/6/07;Senate vote 404, 11/7/07]

Sununu Turned His Back On Hundreds Of Thousands Of New HampshireVeterans. There are currently 130,690 veterans in New Hampshire, and 8,789 Granite Staters have beendeployed in support of United Statesmilitary operations in Iraq,Afghanistanand the global war on terrorism. Sununu turned his back on all these servicemenand women by voting against this vital legislation. [Census Bureau, Department of Defense, CTS DeploymentFile as of July 31, 2007]

Sununu Voted Against Historic FundingFor Nation’s Veterans. The bill provides almost $88billion for the Veterans Administration, the biggest increase ever, including$37 billion - $2.6 billion more than the President requested -- forveterans’ health. The bill includes funding to hire 1,800 newclaims processors to help address the backlog of 400,000 unprocessed claims. Toaddress horrific problems exposed by the Walter Reed scandal, the bill provides$1.2 billion for construction and maintenance of VA hospitals and clinics. [ House Appropriations Committee, 11/6/07 ; CQ House Action Report, 11/6/07]

Bill Needed Now More Than Ever AsVeterans Suffer Unnecessarily. A study from Harvard MedicalSchool researchers foundthat there were 1.8 million uninsured veterans in 2004, and that theirranks were growing twice as fast as the population at large. Far too manyveterans are living on the streets; an estimated 500 to 1000 veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq are homeless. Delays bythe VA in processing disability claims stretch nearly six months, and appealsare dragged out nearly two years. Facilities problems go way beyond WalterReed as widespread maintenance problems such as mold, leaky roofs, and rodentsabound throughout VA facilities. [ USA Today , 10/31/07, Newsweek , 3/21/07, AP , 9/19/07; AP , 3/13/07, AP ,3/21/07]