FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 30, 2010
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Congress Leaves Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans High and Dry
House and Senate Check Out Early Today Leaving Critical Work Unfinished
NEW YORK - Today, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the nation’s first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, issued the following statement expressing frustration and disappointment over failure in Washington:
“As Congress leaves for the election break today, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans are left high and dry. In the last six months, Congress focused on partisan bickering and political point scoring instead of delivering results for new veterans. Veterans are sick and tired of Washington’s repeated failures and empty rhetoric.
Expanded GI Bill education benefits, a national suicide prevention campaign, comprehensive disability claims reform and jobs for vets – all no-brainers and easy victories – failed at the hands of a hyper-partisan, do-nothing Congress. And despite over 140 cosponsors on new GI Bill upgrades, the bill failed to make it to the floor for a vote. With no results in these vital areas, Congress still decided to pack up early and hit the campaign trail.
This year, veterans have seen no visible leadership from the Administration or the VA on these issues either. With Congress paralyzed by partisanship, President Obama and VA Secretary Shinseki were often silent when we needed them to fight for us most.
The American people must hold Washington accountable for this inaction in 2010. Politicians made a lot of promises and veterans have been keeping score. With the elections just 33 days away, it is unfortunate that Washington got so little done for our community this year.”
To arrange an interview with IAVA Executive Director Paul Rieckhoff, Deputy Executive Director Todd Bowers, or another member veteran, contact Isabel Black, 212-982-9699, Isabel@iava.org
Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (www.IAVA.org) is the country's first and largest nonprofit, nonpartisan organization for veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has more than 180,000 veteran members and civilian supporters nationwide. Its mission is to improve the lives of this country's newest generation of veterans and their families.