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Old 05-02-2008, 07:15   #1
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Bush Threatens Veto Over GI Bill Adds

Sir Richard Cranium strikes again!
Quote:
Bush Threatens Veto Over GI Bill Adds
Quote:
Veteran's Forum May 02, 2008
Associated Press <!-- Uncomment this when the Jive comments functionality is available -->

WASHINGTON - President Bush and Democrats controlling Congress continued on course toward a veto confrontation as Bush said he would veto any attempt to add a popular veteran benefits bill to his $108 billion war funding request.

Bush's hard line in a Rose Garden news conference April 29 could virtually assure a veto of the hotly contested war funding bill. Democrats are likely to add extended unemployment benefits and new education funding for post-Sept. 11 veterans to the war funding bill, along with a few other add-ons.

When asked about the popular plan to increase education benefits for troops returning from Iraq, however, Bush held firm.

"I made my position very clear to Congress and I will not accept a supplemental over $108 billion or a supplemental that micromanages the war, ties the hands of our commanders," Bush said. "We will work with Congress on these veterans' benefits .... But the $108 billion is $108 billion."
The hard line came as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and other top congressional leaders held a rally for the Iraq war veterans measure on the West Front of the Capitol.

Several conservative Republicans joined the rally on behalf of the legislation, which would greatly increase college education benefits for veterans to cover tuition and fees at most public universities. That would, on average, double college aid for veterans to about $12,000 per year.
"We are very close to pulling it off," said Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., the chief sponsor on the legislation, alluding to a plan by Democratic leaders to add the veterans measure to the war funding bill.

"I hope it's in there, but we haven't decided for sure yet," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Democratic leaders still appear to be struggling over how to handle the war funding measure, which exposes fault lines within the party and is a management nightmare for Pelosi and Reid.

The measure - which could grow to $178 billion or more if Democrats add on Bush's 2009 war funding request - is coming together in a remarkably secret process dominated by Pelosi and House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis.

Despite the huge cost to taxpayers and prior promises to make the House more open and fair in its operations, Obey and Pelosi have said virtually nothing about their plans for the bill. Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., says it appears that under current plans, Republicans and rank and file lawmakers would be shut out of any opportunity to offer changes to the bill, which Democratic leaders hope to pass next week.

Democrats have devised a complicated procedure for considering the measure in which lawmakers would be forced to vote on three components: the war funding, Democratic policy language restricting war operations, and a package of domestic add-ons like unemployment insurance and the increase in education benefits for veterans.

Another likely Democratic add-on is a $12.7 billion plan to give 13 more weeks of unemployment checks to people whose benefits have run out and 13 weeks beyond that in states with especially high unemployment rates. Democrats are also considering adding $6 billion worth of tax incentives for renewable energy sources such as wind and biofuels.

Those add-ons, and a few other items such as money to combat wildfires, would guarantee a Bush veto.

In the end, I suspect this first exercise is going to get vetoed and we're going to come back," said Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H. That could mean the war money probably won't pass until June.

Still, Democrats appear to have dumped plans to add billions of dollars for roads, bridges and other ideas such as heating subsidies for the poor and increases in food stamp benefits.

At the same time, various administration agencies are signaling they need Congress' help in easing shortfalls in a few accounts, such as international food aid, the decennial Census and the Bureau of Prisons.
How do you feel about this issue?
Let your public officials know how you feel.


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Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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Last edited by Blitzer; 05-02-2008 at 07:18..
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Old 05-02-2008, 07:54   #2
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i'd rather give it to vets than prisoners. i'd rather give it to people out of work than war profiteers. i don't want to give it to halliburton, blackwater, or general dynamics. i'm fine with giving it to working people and wounded people.

it's not like it's real money till they print it. why give it to rich guys?
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Old 05-02-2008, 09:19   #3
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it appears that under current plans, Republicans and rank and file lawmakers would be shut out of any opportunity to offer changes to the bill, which Democratic leaders hope to pass next week. . .


Democrats have devised a complicated procedure for considering the measure in which lawmakers would be forced to vote on three components: the war funding, Democratic policy language restricting war operations, and a package of domestic add-ons like unemployment insurance and the increase in education benefits for veterans.
Big potential problems here.

It sounds like the increased veterans benefits may be a smokescreen for the democrats to cripple the war effort.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:28   #4
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Yup. The flashy sword swinging around in front, while the dagger goes in the back.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:09   #5
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Yup. The flashy sword swinging around in front, while the dagger goes in the back.
PRESTO! nothing up my sleeve...

Call me a bit jaded, but absent an election year with an unpopular incumbent, they'd (Dems) be fighting the operational funding on its merits IF they felt like it. Veterans for them have temporarily replaced "it's for the children."


you & PK be safe out there.
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Old 05-02-2008, 14:33   #6
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I really can't imagine how nice it would be for my GI Bill benefits to double, but if it is tying the hands of our active duty soldiers in getting what they need then VETO away.
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Old 05-22-2008, 17:55   #7
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I really can't imagine how nice it would be for my GI Bill benefits to double, but if it is tying the hands of our active duty soldiers in getting what they need then VETO away.
same here, my GI expired april 2008, it would be nice to have another 5 years so i can get more college knocked out, but.... i think the GI bill will come up again, so i will wait.
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Old 05-26-2008, 22:14   #8
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The usual Democrats in name only are using this for a political tool to their own ends, aren't they?
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Old 06-18-2008, 09:34   #9
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Hand in the pot

I think every on to include Vets, need to get our hands out of the kitty. Our Country has turned Vets farmers and business into relaying on them. I know we think we deserve it. I think some of the injuried do. Think of those who served prior to the end of WWII who received nothing but the fruit of their labor, freedom.
We need less Federal Spending and power not more.
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Old 06-18-2008, 13:29   #10
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Originally Posted by Blitzer View Post
Sir Richard Cranium strikes again! :
My high school english teacher Debra Head actually named her son Richard. I think she had done a few too many drugs in the 60's.
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Old 06-30-2008, 22:18   #11
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Bill was signed today. VA website has details of new plan on it WWW.VA.gov
currently 1 july 08 an internal link available on the home page. Should double the benefits.

It looks like they will pay all tuition and fees directly to school and BAH E-5 w/ dependents rate to student monthly + $1000 each year for books and supplies.
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Old 07-01-2008, 10:26   #12
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Originally Posted by bfg1971 View Post
Bill was signed today. VA website has details of new plan on it WWW.VA.gov
currently 1 july 08 an internal link available on the home page. Should double the benefits.

It looks like they will pay all tuition and fees directly to school and BAH E-5 w/ dependents rate to student monthly + $1000 each year for books and supplies.
Do you have a direct link to the page? I can't find it.

I'm curious as to whether this does anything at all for reservists. The media has only mentioned active-duty.

Edit: nevermind, here's a page about changes to REAP: https://www.gibill.va.gov/NDAA2008.html

REAP benefits now max out at 80% of what active-duty soldiers get, after 3 years of cumulative title 30 orders OR 2 years continuous (previously, all the counted was the length of your longest deployment). Initial training, regular drill, annual training, and state deployments don't count towards the total, only federal activations (for overseas deployment, schools, etc.)

One tour in Iraq (18 months) puts me at 60% of what active-duty gets paid. A second tour (12 months) and I'll still be at 60%. After a THIRD tour, I'll be at 80% of what active-duty soldiers get. But, as soon as I leave the Guard, I lose all remaining benefits.

I guess our benefits should increase at the same proportion as active-duty benefits, but we're still being treated like second-class citizens. However, the GI Bill payments will vary by state, and my state already has such cheap in-state tuition that I doubt I'll see much (if any) of an increase.

Last edited by Biscuitsjam; 07-01-2008 at 11:07..
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