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A Voice in the Wilderness

As nightfall does not come at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there's a twilight where everything remains seemingly unchanged, and it is in such twilight that we must be aware of change in the air, however slight, lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness. -- William O. Douglas

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Heather Wilson Shape shifts on Veterans


Wilson Claims She "Goes to Bat for Veterans." A 2004 Wilson press release entitled, "Wilson goes to bat for veterans," said, "Congresswoman Heather Wilson is working to make sure that a promise made is a promise kept for America's veterans." [Wilson Press Release. "Wilson Goes to Bat for Veterans," 2/13/04]
  • Wilson Voted with the Republican Party and the Leadership for a Budget That Cut Veterans Programs. In 2005, Wilson voted for final passage of the $2.6 trillion budget conference report for 2006. The report cut Medicaid spending by $10 billion, spent every penny of the Social Security surplus, increased the nation deficit by $167.5 billion over 5 years and paved the way for oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Furthermore, the conference report cut funding for veterans' health care by $13.5 billion over five years. Yet the budget still found room for $106 billion in tax cuts for those who need it the least. [HR 95, Vote #149, 4/28/05; House Budget Committee Democratic Caucus, "Summary and Analysis of FY 2006 Budget Resolution Conference Report," 4/28/05]
  • Wilson Voted with the Republican Party and the Leadership and Against Fully Funding Veterans Health Care. In 2003, Wilson voted against providing an additional $1.8 billion for veteran health care programs, the amount prescribed in the fiscal 2004 budget resolution. Veteran's advocates strongly supported the additional funds. A motion to block the increase passed, 229-196. [H. Res. 338, Vote #450, 7/25/03; CQ Daily Monitor, 7/25/03]
  • Wilson Voted Against Granting a Bonus to U.S. Troops. In 2005, Wilson opposed an amendment that would provide service members a salary bonus in recognition of their service in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure would have taken $265 million out of an account paying for Iraqi petroleum imports and put it into a military personnel fund to pay for the bonuses. According to the Congressional Research Service, the energy firm Halliburton could be overcharging the U.S. as much as $249 million for importing fuel into Iraq. The amendment would have provided funding to grant a $1,500 bonus to every American service member serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, including National Guard and reserve forces. It was defeated, 213-213. [HR 3289, Vote #554, 10/17/03; New York Times, 10/22/03; Las Vegas Review Journal, 10/18/03]



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