To The Reader's Forum:
The following I would like to express to our Lawmakers in Washington :
Here we go again. Every time there is a budgetary conflict in DC are we now going to hold veterans benefits and services hostage. First the deficit was the issue now it is health care and the same slimy politics are being employed.
As your constituent, I write to urge you to resolve the current government-wide budget stalemate because of its potential effect on operations of the Department of Veterans Affairs, and especially its impact on the needs of wounded, injured and ill veterans of our armed forces. If the government closes because of ongoing budget disagreements, these veterans will be harmed, and their benefits and services will be delayed if not denied.
We elect legislators to help lead the federal government and to set government policy. Leadership of a vast landscape of programs that we call the federal government requires compromise. Given the thousands of programs involved, whose work affects hundreds of millions of Americans, as well as nations throughout the world, no Member of the House or Senate could possibly agree on every aspect or program of our government. Vital programs, including those administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs for wounded, injured and ill veterans, are caught in the current snare even though veterans benefits and services played no part in the differences of opinion that have hardened between our political parties, the House, Senate and White House on the overall federal budget.
The consensus opinion currently points to a shutdown of our government in less than one week, the first such disturbance of operations in almost 20 years. If the government shuts down as it did in 1995, tens of thousands of wounded, injured and ill veterans will see their pending VA claims further delayed, and other services to them will be denied during the shutdown. In my opinion and I believe that of most of our citizens, this kind of result in the case of veterans would be unconscionable, and is particularly painful and inappropriate because of its impact on people who have served and sacrificed so much.
Please take action to resolve the budget stalemate so that veterans benefits and services will be uninterrupted. Veterans served our nation well; that nation should not turn its back on them now.
I am anxiously waiting to hear the actions you intend to take to resolve this budget stalemate and to protect veterans' vital interests and their crucial programs.