VETPAC Reminds Virginians about the Real George Allen Record on Veterans
Ahead of today’s Republican primary debate between former Senator George Allen and his Tea Party rivals, VETPAC reminds Virginians of the broken promises left in the wake of George Allen’s previous Senate term. Because of Virginia’s long and close ties to the military, especially in Hampton Roads, Virginians expect their senator to be an advocate for our servicemen and woman and veterans. Despite election year efforts to rewrite his record, and despite promises to support our veterans, Virginians should know the truth about George Allen’s failure to fight for those who've fought for him, for Virginia, and for the United States:
Failing to stand up for veterans benefits
In 2006, then-Senator George Allen voted against increased funding for the TRICARE system while supporting a proposal that would have raised out of pocket expenses for some military retirees. Further, Allen opposed creating a dedicated funding stream for veterans' health care by closing corporate tax loopholes and ending tax breaks for the highest earners.
Reckless fiscal policies that would endanger veterans benefits
On the campaign trail, George Allen proudly talks about his support for the “Cut, Cap, and Balance” pledge. Why does George Allen pledge allegiance to fiscally reckless special interests, but not to our country's veterans and its defense? Allen has pledged an “all cuts” approach to deficit reduction that will harm Virginia's economy by reducing support for Virginia’s defense infrastructure and will make it tough keep the promises made to Virginia's veterans, active duty personnel, and their families. Allen has also expressed support for Paul Ryan’s budget proposal, a reckless plan that would make dangerous cuts to important programs, including spending13% less on veterans initiatives.
A Senate term filled with inaction
It took George Allen’s successor, Senator Jim Webb, to get a Post-9/11 GI Bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President George W. Bush. During the 2006 campaign, Webb asked Allen why he never considered introducing such a bill for our heroes. Allen blamed the pace of the Senate rather than taking accountability for his disappointing record on veterans issues.
Virginians deserve to know the truth about George Allen’s record on veterans issues. Despite what he says on the trail, George Allen was no friend to Virginia veterans during his previous term in the Senate. And even worse, he’s pushing reckless fiscal policies that will jeopardize America's defense, its military assets, and the health care and benefits that veterans have earned. All Virginians should keep that in mind when George Allen promises to fight for veterans at today’s debate.