Thursday, August 14, 2008

What You Are Up Against

We have gotten a great response from you so far. The results coming in are strong. But the numbers leave a wide gap in performance. While we have explained before that this is not only your future at stake, it is your legacy as well, not enough of you are reaching your CongressCritters.

In case you need a little more incentive to make direct contact with your Representative and your Senators [to ask them to introduce a Senate version of HR 6562 for concurrent consideration], consider what your opposition is up to.

While you are staying home in the air conditioning, lawyers, staffers and lobbyists representing the Department of Veterans Affairs are wining and dining your Congressman, and your Senators, putting them up for a four day weekend at Sandals, or Hilton Head, with or without their wives. They are treating them to great golf courses, Broadway shows, concerts, and the whole time they are in their ears telling them how bad a move HR 6562 is!

And they are using your tax dollars to do it.

Dirty pool? You bet! Effective? What do you think?

Oh, and those staffers you have to go through to get to your CongressCritters???? They are beneficiaries, too, of the taxpayer-funded largesse of the Department of Veterans Affairs.

That is part of what you are up against.

By now you should be angry enough to make the trip to see your CongressCritter. It is the one sure thing that will trump whatever the DVA can do. Oh, the Congressional folks may play those golf courses, may go see those Broadway shows, and may make DVA funded junkets to St. Thomas, or the Bahamas to study coral reef erosion and its effects on Veterans. But if they get a visit from you, and you get from them both a promise to co-sponsor HR 6562 in the House, or to introduce the Senate version of that same bill, then you will have gained the upper hand. In the end, the CongressCritter will realize that there will be other junkets, other Broadway shows, other weekends in a resort somewhere, funded by other agencies, or private lobbying firms, but you, YOU, the person who drew the promise from them are a voter. And that trumps everything else.

The real battlegound is in the Senate. That is where the margin of Democrats over Republicans is not as effective because of the way votes are done in that chamber. And you must drive the Senate to vote the Agent Orange Equity Act of 2008 by at least a 70-75% margin. That is, we need 70-75 votes to ensure that passage of the bill is veto-proof. That means you must lure a substantial number of Republican Senators from under the umbrella of the Administration which will be applying pressure on them.

You must realize as well that as sick as you are, you still must make the trip. Go by wheelchair, take your oxygen tank with you, your cane, your crutches. That will reinforce the point that we are dying at an excessive rate. Tell them how important it is to get your claim processed before you die so your widow will have something left to live on. This, too, trumps efforts by the DVA to sway Congress to sink HR 6562.

Oh, and tell them you'll be watching.

You have the advantage. It's up to you to make use of it and get your CongressCritter's commitment.

Thanks to you all for what you have accomplished so far. You've been great. Keep up the good work. It will be worth it in the end. And you will have the satisfaction of having a major role in Constitutional government. And most importantly, you will have your legacy at last.


”It is a stain on this nation's honor that the Department of Veterans Affairs has become a deadlier and more difficult adversary to the American veteran than any they have ever faced on a battlefield."-- VNVets

"The concept that Agent Orange, and its effects, stopped dead in its tracks at the shoreline is simply too illogical, and too ludicrous to accept. What does that say about the Bush Administration and his Department of Veterans Affairs?"--VNVets

"With malice toward none; with charity for all; with firmness in the right, as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in; to bind up the nation's wounds; to care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan--to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace, among ourselves, and with all nations." --President Abraham Lincoln

"Without a decisive naval force we can do nothing definitive, and with it, everything honorable and glorious."--President George Washington

Copyright © 2005-2008: VNVets Blog; All Rights Reserved.


  1. Anonymous09:57

    By asking Senators to introduce their version of HR 6562 for concurrent consideration may be counter productive and competative. Wouldn't it be more effective if we got both House's to aggree on the one HR 6562 as written so that it can be passed sooner into law with less debate about which house has the best Bill.
    Tom Laliberte
    Plymouth, MA

  2. Perhaps you are correct. However, I think that by concurrent consideration you eliminate the extra time required for the Senate hearings process by doing them at the same time as the House. In that respect, you have two similar bills that reach passage in both houses about the same time, and then the conference committee works out the differences between the two. Most likely it will not have to go back to committee, or if so, only for a short while before a floor vote.

    By waiting, you add the Committee time to the Senate version of the House passed bill, and if the Senate alters it in any way, it still has to go back to the House for a re-vote.

    The other advantage is that it will outline the shape of the Senate vote to an extent and show us on whom we need to concentrate in the Senate.

  3. Anonymous10:38

    I am concerned that the VA feels that it must protect the U.S. Treasury as opposed to making sure that those who served are getting treated and get benefits they rightfully earned fighting for this Great Nation.

    They Have Lobbyists!
    They Have Staffers!
    They Have Lawyers!

    Doing What!

    This Agency with an executive order issued in 1930 created the Veterans' Administration. It assumed the functions of the Veterans' Bureau, the Bureau of Pensions, and the National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers.

    Now they are concerned about their fiscal finances. What about the Veteran. The VA was created to serve and care for this countries veterans. What happened to that.

    And they now have Lobbists. Staffers, and Lawyers trying to find ways to take from the Veteran what Congress has Mandated that they must provide to the Veteran.

    Tom Laliberte
    Plymouth, MA

  4. Anonymous10:45

    I suppose your reply does make sense. I'm just really concerned about putting any obstacles in the way that would imped a fast track of this Bill and passage into Law.
    Tom Laliberte
    Plymouth, MA

  5. I agree, the bill must be fast tracked through both houses. The best way to do that is a two step approach for each house:

    First, and foremost, do what we are doing, go face to face with our Representatives and Senators, get their support, and co-sponsorship, and in the Senate, get one to introduce the bill.

    Second, we need to contact the Speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi, and ask her to fast track HR 6562 through the House. If we can get to her, I believe she will accomodate us, but the problem is getting to her. Same for Harry REid in the Senate.

    That will assure a quick passage, and a veto-proof one.

  6. Anonymous21:31

    I know now what we are up against; traitors of the worst kind. We were sold out lock, stock and barell. We were played like a cheap fiddle. If I hear "no one left behind" one more time I think that I'm going to puke. It should be everyone left behind but the co-conspirators.