Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the Senate voted to strip the Mil-Con/VA bill from the Labor-HHS-Education conference report:
“Democrats are working to pass the largest-ever increase in resources for veterans care that would improve conditions at veterans’ military facilities like Walter Reed, safeguard veterans’ personal data, and fund research for illnesses like Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury. But Senate Republicans – who voted overwhelming for both the Mil-Con/VA bill and the Labor-HHS bills a few weeks ago – have now apparently had a change of heart and are actively working to prevent the veterans care funding from being signed into law. This simply defies common sense.
“Even as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have stretched our VA to its breaking point and the number of uninsured veterans has skyrocketed, President Bush and Republican Senators are saying we must choose between supporting our veterans and taking care of other health and education needs of Americans. In asking us to make this false choice, they are demonstrating a failure of leadership; we can and must do better.”