Local Vets Rip McCain

We just got a press release from local veteran’s group Veterans for Progress, headed by Vietnam veteran Jim Hudson (whose name our readers may know). Mr. Hudson had some tough questions on veteran’s issues for GOP presidential candidate John McCain at last Monday’s town hall (a.k.a. “the gift to Democrats that keeps on giving“). McCain’s responses, according to Hudson, were less than satisfying.

Release follows, but this report from MSNBC’s Countdown (linked to in the release) sums up the exchange pretty well.

Call for McCain to Answer Questions He Dodged Monday

Veterans for Progress Call on Senator to Follow Through on Promise

For immediate release

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Contact: Jim Hudson

720-296-1936

DENVER- Frustrated by Senator John McCain’s voting record on veterans’ issues and his distortion of that record at a Town Hall meeting in Denver on Monday, members of Veterans for Progress today called on McCain to explain his record as the Senator promised.

A story covered by the national press, McCain promised Jim Hudson, a Vietnam veteran who questioned McCain on his record, that he would be glad to examine Hudson’s “version” of McCain’s record. And today Hudson is following up on that offer.

Watch the MSNBC report: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v…

“I value and respect Senator McCain’s service in Vietnam,” Jim Hudson said. “But as a Senator, he has repeatedly voted against health care spending for veterans. In Monday’s Town Hall meeting, I asked him to explain those votes and he ducked the question.”

“Today, I’m giving him another chance to explain by inviting him onto a conference call with me and other veterans,” Hudson noted.

In the Town Hall meeting, Hudson was recognized by McCain as a Vietnam Veteran. Hudson then asked McCain to explain why he voted against his colleagues’proposals to increase health care spending in 2004, ’05, ’06 and ’07 when troops were coming back from two wars.

McCain dodged Hudson’s question and gave a list of veterans’ organization he claims supported him. “The reason I have a perfect voting record from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the American Legion and all the other veterans service organizations is because of my support of them,” McCain said.

The Senator was wrong and Hudson corrected him.

“You do not have a perfect voting record by the DAV and the VFW. That’s where these votes are recorded,” Hudson said, referring to McCain’s votes against veterans’ funding over the past four years. “And I can give the specific votes, the numbers of those Senate votes right now.”

Hudson said the conference call would give McCain an opportunity to either dispute the record or explain it.

“I hope Sen. McCain will honor a fellow Vietnam Veteran-and all American veterans-by agreeing to this call,” stated Leon Rodriguez, a Vietnam Veteran and a member of Veterans for Progress who lives in Littleton, Colorado.

###

Veterans Issues  (from www.ProjectVoteSmart.org):

2006  Senator McCain supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 20 percent in 2006.

2006  In 2006 Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America gave Senator McCain a grade of D.

2006  Senator McCain sponsored or co-sponsored 18 percent of the legislation favored by the The Retired Enlisted Association in 2006.

2005  Senator McCain supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 25 percent in 2005.

2004  Senator McCain supported the interests of the Disabled American Veterans 50 percent in 2004.

2004  Senator McCain supported the interests of the The Retired Enlisted Association 0 percent in 2004.

From the Congressional Record:

   * McCain Voted Against A $20 Million Increase In Healthcare For Veterans. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that would add $20 million for veterans’ health care facilities. It would offset the additional spending by striking $20 million in the underlying bill for AmeriCorps. Amendment failed 39-59. [HR 4939, Vote #111, 5/4/06]

   * McCain Was One of 13 Senators To Vote Against Increase In Veterans’ Healthcare. In 2006, McCain was one of 13 senators to vote against an amendment to add $430 million for outpatient and inpatient health care and treatment for veterans. Amendment passed 84-16. [HR 4939, Vote #98, 4/26/06]

   * McCain Voted To Cut Funding For Veterans’ Healthcare. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment to strike a provision in the 2007 Budget that will hold farm programs, veterans, Social Security, and Medicaid hostage to rising health care costs by creating automatic cuts once an arbitrary level of spending is reached in the Medicare program. The amendment failed 50-50. [SCR 83, Vote #70, 3/16/06]

   * McCain Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Funding By $10 Billion. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment to eliminate a tripling of fees for veterans in the TRICARE health care program by raising the discretionary spending limit by approximately $10 billion. The provisions would have been fully offset by eliminating certain corporate tax breaks. The amendment failed 46-53. [SCR 83, Vote #67, 3/16/06]

   * McCain Voted Against Veteran’s Healthcare Program. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment to make veterans’ health benefits a mandatory program, spending $104 billion over five years. The funding would have been offset by closing corporate tax loopholes and rolling back the Bush tax cuts for millionaires. Amendment rejected 46-54. [SCR 83, Vote #63, 3/16/06]

   * McCain Voted Against A $1.5 Billion Increase In Healthcare For Veterans. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that increased the discretionary spending limit by $1.5 billion to $874.5 billion to provide an increase in funding for veterans’ medical services. It would be offset by ending certain corporate tax breaks. Amendment rejected 46-54. [SCR 83, Vote #41, 3/14/06]

   * McCain Failed To Vote To Support Healthcare For Veterans In Lieu of Tax Breaks For Millionaires. In 2006, McCain failed to vote on a motion to instruct conferees to insist that the tax reconciliation conference report includes funding to support health needs of veterans and military personnel in lieu of an extension of capital gains or dividends tax breaks for individuals with incomes of more than $1 million. Motion failed 40-53. [HR 4297, Vote #15, 2/13/06]

   * McCain Voted Against $19 billion For Military And Veterans’ Hospitals. In 2006, McCain voted against an amendment that provided $19 billion for military and veterans’ hospitals, offset by limiting the dividend and capital-gains tax rates to individuals earning less than $1 million. Amendment failed 44-53. [HR 4297, Vote #7, 2/2/06]

   * McCain Voted Against Mental Healthcare For Veterans. In 2005, McCain Voted against an amendment that provided an additional $500 million per year for the next five years for mental health services for veterans. The funding would be offset by deferring tax cuts for those making $1 million per year. Amendment rejected 43-55. [S 2020, Vote #343, 11/17/05]

   * McCain Voted Against Considering Inflation In Veterans Funding Formula. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would establish a future funding formula for health care for former members of the Armed Forces takes into account changes in population and inflation. Amendment failed 48-51. [HR 2863, Vote #251, 10/5/05]

   * McCain Voted Against A $10 Million Increase In Readjustment Counseling for Veterans. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would provide an additional $10 million for the Readjustment Counseling Service, offset with a $10 million reduction in the HealthVet account. The amendment failed 48-50. [HR 2528, Vote #242, 9/22/05]

   * McCain Failed To Vote For A $1.5 Billion Increase In Veterans’ Healthcare. In 2005, McCain failed to vote for an amendment that would add $1.5 billion of funding to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs for medical services provided by the Veterans Health Administration. Amendment passed 96-0. [HR 2361, Vote # 165, 6/29/05; HR 2361, Vote # 166, 6/29/05; HR 2361, Vote # 168, 6/29/05]

   * McCain Voted Against $1.9 Billion In Emergency Funding For Veterans’ Hospitals. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that designated $1.9 billion in emergency funding for veterans’ hospitals. The $1.9 billion provided for the VA by the underlying amendment will help the VA to cover the costs of caring for these new veterans, and ensure that the VA is able to provide them with the care they deserve. The amendment failed 46-54. [HR 1268, Vote #90, 4/12/05]

   * McCain Voted Against A $2 Billion Increase In Veterans’ Funding. In 2005, McCain voted against an amendment that would increase funding for the Veterans Affairs Department by $1.98 billion and designate it as emergency spending. It would stipulate that $840 million be used for veterans’ regional health networks; $610 million be used to address the needs of service members deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan; and $525 million be used to provide mental health care and treatment. Amendment failed 46-54. [HR 1268, Vote #89, 4/12/05]

   * McCain Voted Against Creating A Reserve Fund For Veterans’ Health Care. In 2004, McCain voted against an amendment that would create a reserve fund to allow for an increase in veterans medical care by $1.8 billion, the amount determined by Veterans’ Affairs Committee to meet existing needs; and is fully offset by closing tax loopholes. Amendment rejected 46-51. [SCR95,Vote #40,3/10/04]

   * McCain Voted Against A $1.3 billion Increase In Veterans’ Health Benefits. In 2003, McCain voted to table an amendment that included a $1. Billion increase in funding for health benefits. The amendment would reduce the amount provided for Iraqi reconstruction by $5.03 billion, and redirect that funding for domestic programs, including $1.8 billion for veterans’ health benefits, $1 billion for school reconstruction, renovation and repair and class size reduction, and $1.5 billion for capital improvements for federal highways. It also would express the sense of the Senate that Congress should consider an additional $5.03 billion in funding for Iraqi reconstruction during the fiscal 2005 budget and appropriations process. The motion to table passed 59-35. [S 1689, Vote #379, 10/14/03]

   * McCain Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Health Care Program. In 2003, McCain voted against an amendment that would increase spending on the TRICARE program by $20.3 billion over 10 years to give members of the National Guard and Reserves and their families greater access to the health care program. The increase would be offset by a reduction in tax cuts. Amendment rejected 46-51. [SCR23,Vote #81,3/25/03]

   * McCain Failed To Vote For A $1.3 Billion Increase In Funding For Veterans’ Healthcare. In 1999, McCain failed to vote for an amendment that increased the funding provided to Veterans’ Health Administration by $1.3 billion. The amendment failed 36-63. [HR 2684, Vote #285, 9/22/99]

   * McCain Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Health Administration By $1 Billion. In 1998, McCain voted against an amendment that would add $1 billion for Veterans’ Health Administration Medical Care. The funding would budget neutral and would come from the termination of the space station program. The amendment failed 33-66. [S 2168, Vote #185, 7/7/98]

   * McCain Voted Against $400 Million In Veterans’ Funding. In 1997, McCain voted to table an amendment that would permit $400 million in DOD funds to be transferred to Department of Veterans’ Affairs to provide health benefits under laws administered by Secretary. Motion to table agreed to 58-41. [S936,Vote #168,7/10/97]

   * McCain Voted Against Covering Spina Bifida For The Children of Veterans. In 1996, McCain voted against the germaneness of an amendment that would extend veterans health care and related benefits to the children of Vietnam Veterans suffering from spina bifida, a spinal cord birth defect that causes neurological damage. The amendment was judged germane 62-35. [HR 3666, Vote #276, 9/5/96]

   * McCain Voted Against Preventing Cuts In Veterans’ Healthcare Funding. In 1996, McCain voted to table an amendment that would prohibit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs from reducing funds to any state for health care facilities in fiscal 1997 below the fiscal 1996 funding level. Motion to table passed. [HR 3666, Vote # 275, 9/5/96]

   * McCain Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Healthcare Funding By $511 Million. In 1995, McCain voted against an amendment which would increase the funding for veterans’ medical care by $511 million; and offsets the cost of this amendment by limiting any tax cut to families with incomes of less than $100,000. Amendment failed 51-49. [HR 2099, Vote #466, 9/27/95]

   * McCain Voted To Restrict Funding For Veterans’ Care Facilities. In 1994, McCain voted against tabling an amendment that the amendment would prohibit the construction of three inpatient facilities, located in Hawaii, California, and Tennessee. The projects in Hawaii and California will provide access to acute care for large numbers of veterans in the areas to be served, without which they would not have access to VA inpatient services. The project in Tennessee involves the correction of serious seismic deficiencies in the Memphis VA facility, which is located in a dangerous earthquake area. Motion to table passed 62-36. [HR 4624, Vote #256, 8/4/94]

   * McCain Voted To Cut $25 Million From Veterans’ Health Programs. In 1993, McCain not to table an amendment that transferred $25 million of veterans’ health funding to programs for the Veterans Department to occupation conversion and employment training programs for veterans. Motion to table passed 57-43. [HR 1335, Vote #97, 4/1/93]

   * McCain Voted Against Increasing Veterans’ Healthcare & Research Funding By $431 Million. In 1991, McCain voted against an amendment to increase veterans’ program funding by $378 million for medical care and $53 million for medical and prosthetic research. Amendment failed 35-64. [HR 2519, Vote #132, 7/17/91]

   * McCain Voted Against $200 Million For Veterans’ Healthcare. In 1990, McCain voted to table an amendment that transferred $200 million to the Department of Veterans’ Affairs medical account. The money would be transferred from the Strategic Defense Initiative. Motion to table passed 54-43. [S 2884, Vote #226, 8/4/90]

McCain Has Voted To Cut, Eliminate, or Gut Veterans Health Care Funding At Least 29 Times. [HR 4939, Vote #111, 5/4/06][HR 4939, Vote #98, 4/26/06][SCR 83, Vote #70, 3/16/06][SCR 83, Vote #67, 3/16/06][SCR 83, Vote #63, 3/16/06][SCR 83, Vote #41, 3/14/06][HR 4297, Vote #15, 2/13/06][HR 4297, Vote #7, 2/2/06][S 2020, Vote #343, 11/17/05][HR 2863, Vote #251, 10/5/05][HR 2528, Vote #242, 9/22/05][HR 2361, Vote # 165, 6/29/05; HR 2361, Vote # 166, 6/29/05; HR 2361, Vote # 168, 6/29/05][HR 1268, Vote #90, 4/12/05][HR 1268, Vote #89, 4/12/05][SCR 95, Vote #40, 3/10/04][S 1689, Vote #379, 10/14/03][SCR 23, Vote #81, 3/25/03][S 2168, Vote #185, 7/7/98][S 936, Vote #168, 7/10/97][HR 3666, Vote #276, 9/5/96][HR 3666, Vote # 275, 9/5/96][HR 2099, Vote #466, 9/27/95[HR 4624, Vote #256, 8/4/94][HR 1335, Vote #97, 4/1/93][S 2884, Vote #226, 8/4/90][HR 2519, Vote #132, 7/17/91]

7 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. Danny the Red (hair) says:

    Instead Ol’ WeatherVane McCain missed the wire with his tailhook.

    Reminds me of the guy who challenged him on “who is the leader of Iraq.”  When challenged by factual information that doesn’t comport with his world view, first he tries answer a different question, then he lies, then he bullys the questioner.

    Physical courage–yes.  Integrity–no.

    • bluehotmama says:

      B/C the question was coming from a Vet McCain didn’t bully him to much, he just ducked the question. And everybody saw him duck  the question and now people are talking about his voting record when it comes to veteran’s care. I think Obama needs a military man on the ticket to help talk about these issues- b/c Democrats are hesitate to call McCain out on his veteran’s voting record, even though its a legitimate issue to raise.  

      • Danny the Red (hair) says:

        Clark took 4 bullets during Tet, you never hear him “humbly” mentioning that.

        • Middle of the Road says:

          Until I just read your comment, I never knew that. He never mentions it.

          For a guy who doesn’t like to tout his experiences and time as a POW in Vietnam, McCain sure does mention it an awful lot.

          Not that there’s anything wrong with that…:)

      • DavidThi808 says:

        For everything you just said plus how well he did as an attack dog recently – not just calling out McCain but how he then handled the press when it tried to protect McCain.

        • Ralphie says:

          The problem with using Clark as an attack dog is that he’s not disciplined enough.  He took Obama’s speech on patriotism totally out of the news the day he went after McCain.  He was off the reservation.

          An attack dog has to be disciplined.

          Plus, he has some baggage.  He damned near started WWIII when he was NATO Supreme Commander during the war in Kosovo.

          I like Clark, but I think he’s too unschooled in the ways of politics to be effective as a VP candidate.  My opinion only, of course, and I don’t get to choose.

  2. streetcleaner says:

    McCain looks like a total political hack here.  And now everyone is looking at his bad record on vets issues.  Something else he has to stop from unravelling.  Gives Obama more space as a result.

    McCain on defense and Obama with free rein to woo voters with his great speeches:  not a good situation for McCain.

    Remember all the flak McCain got for being too angry in 2000?  Well, that narrative is coming back and it will not be pretty when it gains full strength.

    Oh.  Generals make bad politicians.  No on Clark for VP.

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