Overcome by yesterday's blog traffic, we headed out to do some birding and catch Ironman at the local theater. Enormous fun, though we all shuddered during the attack on the Humvee convoy in Afghanistan: one of the young men in the theater is in the reserves, who (like the rest of us) has been listening to vets returned from the real thing.
The real stories and the need to revisit veterans' programs is driving legislation aimed at paying back their sacrifice and commitment to our country. In the First, the netroots have engaged that conversation. In yesterday's Corner House Comments, we read that 21st Century GI Bill Will Come To A Vote Soon!.
The southwestern Minnesota blogger, father of an Iraq war vet, promotes a comment from Minnesota Central about the roadblocks Blue Dog Democrats are putting up. CHC follows with an appeal from the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) for support for the legislation:
Last week, despite enormous momentum, a vote on the GI Bill was delayed by a small group of Democrats in the House. Believe it or not, they’re concerned about the cost of the bill, which amounts to less than 0.5% of war funding for the year. This is Washington ineffectiveness at its worst.
We’ve been pounding the pavement here in DC every day, meeting with all the key players in the fight for a new GI Bill, and today we need your support.
Please take a minute now to call your Representative, and urge them to show their support for a new GI Bill by voting to fund it this week. We’ve included some talking points at the bottom of this email that you can use during your call.
Despite deep bi-partisan support, the endorsement of every major veterans’ organization, and studies showing that a new GI Bill is a fiscally sound investment in our nation’s future, a few members of the House are standing in its way at this late, critical stage.
The new GI Bill (HR 5740) has broad bi-partisan support, and leading Democrats and Republicans have been fighting for it since day one. But thanks to this small group that is mounting an ill-advised opposition, the vote is going to be close, and we need your help to make sure Congress does the right thing.
In our view, the GI Bill is a cost of war, and a smart investment in one of the most motivated, deserving groups of people our country has to offer.
After your call, please take a minute to tell us about it here.
Over at Minnesota Campaign Report, First District diarist Jacob Grippen looks at the GI Bill, beginning with a discussion of the Senate version of the bill, which John McCain objects to as too generous. Grippen concludes:
Too generous? We are denying our Veterans the truth about their comrades' suicides, we're treating them to horrible conditions at VA hospitals, yes, I suppose passing Senator Webb's new GI Bill would be a change in policy. I'm just glad that many Republicans are co-sponsoring this bill. The total number of co-sponsors (bi-partisan) so far is up to 57.
Our soldiers deserve every benefit our government and its citizens can give them.
Tim Walz had this to say back in April about revamping the GI Bill:
"To enhance the ability of not only of the soldier but of their family members to get an education and get them back in training for a new profession"
What say you Minnesota?
We say that our young friends in the Navy, Marines, Army and Air Force deserve the best for what they're willing to put on the line for the rest of us. Go over to CHC and MNCR to share your thoughts.
In other netroots news, The Hill's Blog Briefing Room » Daily Kos looks at Mcjoan's post about the Frontiers of Freedom robocalls campaign.
Photo: Airmen in a Humvee rollover training exercise at Bagram Air Base, Afghanistan.