Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 18, 2014

Burr: VFW, DAV More Outraged by Letter Than by VA Scandal

burr006 092413 445x298 Burr: VFW, DAV More Outraged by Letter Than by VA Scandal

Burr fired back Sunday at the VFW and DAV after they expressed outrage at a letter he wrote slamming the veterans groups’ leadership. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

The Memorial Day weekend sparring between veterans groups and the top Republican on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee in the wake of the VA scandal is continuing.

Sen. Richard M. Burr fired back at veterans service organizations after they blasted the North Carolina Republican in response to an open letter to veterans that Burr issued on Friday. In his response, Burr questions the priorities of groups like the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“The VSOs’ response is a rousing defense of the status quo at VA,” Burr said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call. “It’s clear that my open letter to America’s veterans has outraged some VSOs more than the scandals at VA — I believe their testimony stands on its own.”

Burr’s Friday letter said that a recent committee “hearing made it clear to me that the staff has ignored the constant VA problems expressed by their members and is more interested in their own livelihoods and Washington connections than they are to the needs of their own members.”

The VFW’s leadership issued a letter Saturday responding Burr’s open letter, calling Burr’s missive ”clearly one of the most dishonorable and grossly inappropriate acts that we’ve witnessed in more than forty years of involvement with the veteran community and breaches the standards of the United States Senate.”

Another group, Disabled American Veterans, joined in the criticism of Burr on Sunday morning.

“DAV is outraged that North Carolina’s Senator Richard Burr chose the eve of Memorial Day weekend – a sacred time to remember and honor those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our nation — to attack the patriotism of leaders of most of the nation’s leading veterans service organizations,” DAV said in its own statement.

  • YONATAN C

    THE REPUBLICANS HAVE DECLARED WAR ON THE POOR AND THE UNEMPLOYED IN THIS COUNTRY. THEY HAVE REFUSED TO PASS THE UNEMPLOYMENT EXTENSION BILL THAT WOULD HAVE HELPED THE 2.6 MILLION FAMILIES IN DESPERATE NEED OF HELP. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE USED THE EXTENSION BILL AS HOSTAGE IN THE SENATE FOR POLITICAL LEVERAGE TO FURTHER THEIR PARTY’S POLITICAL AGENDA. THEY HAVE SHOWN A TOTAL LACK OF HUMAN COMPASSION, AND OF COMMON DECENCY. THEY HAVE DELIBERATELY STALLED AND DELAYED THE VOTE SO THAT THE BILL WOULD BECOME TOO LATE TO PASS IN THE SENATE. THIS WAS A CALCULATED MOVE ON SENATOR JOHN BOEHNER’S PART, TO DERAIL THE VOTING PROCESS. THE REPUBLICANS HAVE DEMONSTRATED A TOTAL “DISCONNECT” FROM THE AVERAGE AMERICAN, AND HAVE SHOWN THE WORLD JUST FOR WHOM THEY TRULY WORK FOR, AND IT’S NOT YOU OR I. THEY WORK FOR BIG BUSINESS AND MEN LIKE THE KOCH BROTHERS. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE SEEN THE REPUBLICAN PARTY’S TRUE FACE, AND IT’S NOT PRETTY. THEY NEED TO ALL BE VOTED OUT OF OFFICE IN THE COMING ELECTIONS. THEY HAVE FAILED THEIR DUTY AS THE PEOPLE’S REPRESENTATIVE.

    • RobSiegmund

      Since the Republicans won’t let you vote other people’s money, can’t you just steal it yourself?

    • RIDGERUNNER29

      you moron,you don’t even know enough to name Boehner’s true title which is Speaker of the House of Representatives.He is not and has never been a Senator.See,you just proved Affirmative Action is a FAILURE!!!!!

  • dangerclose

    Republicans will do everything possible to keep cut taxes for the rich, but when given the opportunity to provide faster treatment for veterans they filibuster as they did in Feb 2014. Senate Republicans blocked a $20 billion boost for the VA, which among other things expanded veterans’ healthcare programs, because they claimed that the spending wasn’t paid for and added to the deficit.

    GOP blocks veterans bill

    http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/199480-gop-blocks-veterans-bill

    These same Republicans are currently pushing to extend more than 50 tax breaks for big business that expired at the end of 2013. Extending these tax breaks will increase the deficit by $310 billion over the next decade, plus an additional $58 billion in interest costs. Republicans don’t pay for these tax breaks and the entire amount is added to the deficit.

    Republicans Love Big Business So Much, They Forget About Reducing the Deficit

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/117597/gop-requires-offset-unemployment-benefits-not-tax-breaks

    The GOP hypocrites are willing to increase the deficit by nearly $378 billion to support tax breaks for big business, but are unwilling to provide $20 billion to support the VA and expand veterans’ healthcare programs.

  • stevenharnack

    Republicans are always questioning other people’s patriotism but when it gets down to actually doing something for Americans their constituency seems to shrink down to about 1% of the population, and veterans aren’t any part of it. When it comes to knowing who bears the most responsibility for the poor after care of veterans I’ll take the word of the VFW every time over that of some self serving blowhard Congressman.

  • Prismatic

    It doesnt seem likely that Burr can win this argument with so many veterans groups protesting his letter. He would have been better advised to respond with a more conciliatory tone instead of putting more fuel on the fire. I don’t see other Republicans coming to his defense yet. Maybe they will, but it seems doubtful. He is not a veteran himself and that will count against him. Veterans remember.

  • depaul

    Burr has a rabid case of “The Emperor’s New Clothes” –he should resign from participating in anything with Veteran’s Affairs, he has fully demonstrated he has nothing to offer, and much to harm

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