November 14th, 2017
To read the full op-ed on SCVnews.com, click here
It was wonderful to see the community come together on Veterans Day to recognize our local servicemen and women. But honoring our veterans shouldn’t be limited to one day or one weekend. We need to do more to support them for their service and sacrifice to this country we all love.
And that’s why I strongly disagree with some of the recent votes in Congress, including by our own congressman, Steve Knight, which will hurt our veterans.
For example, I believe we need to fulfill our sacred promise to our veterans and ensure they have greater access to healthcare, including the physical, mental and emotional care they need.
Unfortunately, the disastrous Trumpcare bill, which Steve Knight voted for, would not only take healthcare away from millions of Americans to give a massive tax break to the wealthiest few; it would also result in almost 2 million disabled and low-income veterans losing Medicaid, more than 5 million veterans struggling to find services at rural hospitals, and hundreds of thousands of veterans losing access to care for opioid addiction and other substance abuse treatment.
I believe Congress should make it easier for veterans to access educational benefits, and I pledge to defend the post-9/11 G.I. Bill to do just that. Unfortunately, last year Republicans in Congress voted to dismantle the post-9/11 G.I. Bill and thereby took education benefits away from veterans.
Finally, I believe we must do everything we can to help veterans transition seamlessly from military to civilian life, and that includes supporting bills that accelerate vital skills training in manufacturing and other high-demand careers when they return home from service. The new tax proposal put forth by Republicans in the House of Representative would actually take away tax credits for hiring unemployed or disabled veterans. That is outrageous and unacceptable. I will never vote for a bill that actively works to discourage employers from hiring veterans.
We owe a sacred duty to those who have served and sacrificed for our country. Our elected officials must be allies to and advocates for our veterans, but that’s not what we’re seeing with some of the votes in Congress. It’s time for a change.