jONES QUESTIONS RUMSFELD ON VETERANS BENEFITS

“If we are going to ask our brave men and women in uniform to give their life over in Iraq or Afghanistan, the least we in Congress can do is to show them that we truly care.”

 

WASHINGTON, DCAt a House Armed Services Committee hearing today, Third District Congressman Walter B. Jones questioned Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld on proposed budget cuts for veterans.  

 

“During President Abraham Lincoln’s second Inaugural address he said of America’s veterans, ‘To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow and his orphan,’” Jones said.  “If we are going to ask our brave men and women in uniform to give their life over in Iraq or Afghanistan, the least we in Congress can do is to show them that we truly care for them as Lincoln said we should.”    

 

Representative Jones explained to Secretary Rumsfeld that, though “he still supports the President,” he was alarmed to discover that the President’s budget “contained a fourteen percent increase for foreign aid while cutting veterans benefits.”

 

Congressman Jones also expressed his concern over a report that quoted a Pentagon official suggesting that veterans’ benefits were already too high.

 

“I have the privilege to represent the Third District of North Carolina, which is home to over 60,000 veterans and retired military.  I hope there was a misunderstanding with this comment because, if it is accurate, it is insensitive and wrong,” Jones explained.  “I do not understand how all of us in Congress, as well as those in the Administration and the Department of Defense, cannot remember that those returning in uniform must come first.”     

 

Secretary Rumsfeld was before the Armed Services Committee today to discuss the Department of Defense’s fiscal year 2006 budget request.

 

 

For additional information or to schedule an interview with Congressman Walter B. Jones please contact Kristen Quigley at (202) 225-3415.