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John Kline's lack of support for veterans by
John Kline is a former Marine, and veterans' issues are one of his key campaign issues. It should concern voters, then, that this is nothing more than empty rhetoric. His actual record in Congress reveals a disturbing pattern of opposition to veteran's issues. The Disabled American Veterans group has consistently rated him as the worst of any Minnesota Representative in supporting veterans' issues since he took office in 2003. See for yourself at (go to the "Vote Scorecard" at the bottom). He opposed providing full disability and retirement benefits to all veterans (H.R.1588, Roll no. 616). He opposed giving reservists and their families access to the military's TRICARE health care program (H.R.1815, Roll no. 221). He supported budgets that cut veterans' programs to make room for tax cuts and corporate giveaways (108th Congress, H.C.R.95; 109th Congress, H.C.R.95). In defending his actions on these bills, Kline is quick to point out two items that he did support. First is the Military Quality of Life and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act, 2006 (H.R.2528). What he doesn't tell you is that this bill passed unanimously, 427-0. Of course he's not going to vote against that. But, on that very bill, an amendment was proposed that would have increased funding for Veterans' Affairs by an additional $53 million (H.AMDT.216). The amendment failed by a 213-214 vote. Kline's vote? NO. In other words, in the face of the inevitable passage of this bill, Kline did his part to ensure that the least possible amount of benefit would be provided to veterans. Second is his claim of helping to end the unfair "concurrent receipt" policy, which subtracts any disability funds paid to veterans from their pension. But again, he omits the full story. Kline does not specify the actual bill number he claims to have helped pass, but as the DAV points out, the policy has not actually been ended. Congress has only provided for a 10-year gradual phase-out of the policy, and only for veterans with greater than 50% disability. Meanwhile, a bill which would end the concurrent receipt penalty for all veterans immediately (H.R.303) has languished in committees (including the Armed Services Committee on which Kline sits) for over 3 years and 2 sessions of Congress. That bill currently has 240 co-sponsors, and a petition to force a vote has garnered 191 of the 218 required signatures. John Kline's name is nowhere to be found on either of those lists. Finally, I've already mentioned an instance where Kline actually voted against fixing the concurrent receipt issue. A motion was filed on the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2004 (H.R.1588) to recommit with instructions to maximize the number of people eligible for full concurrent disability and retirement pay. The motion failed 188-237, with Kline voting NO. So, his desire to end the unfair policy is not as clear-cut as he would have us believe. We all know that politicians tend to stretch the truth. But on this issue, John Kline doesn't merely stretch it, he turns it completely upside-down and inside-out, relying on voter ignorance to keep his real record from becoming common knowledge. Voters should take a long hard look beyond Kline's public "stand-up guy" persona, and note what he's actually doing in Washington.
Oct 23, 2006 | 1527 views | 11 11 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Chad's analysis is accurate
by Nancy
 in response to John Kline's lack of support for veterans
Oct 30, 2006 | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Chad’s analysis is accurate regarding the congressional record of Congressman Kline on support for veterans.
Others have been easily dazzled and deceived by an old photo of Kline wearing a USMC uniform, photographed with President Reagan.
The St.Paul Pioneer Press was so dazzled by the patriotic ideal of the former Marine that they endorsed him for another term in office without, apparently, checking to see if he in fact supported American soldiers like the stand-up Marine they think he is.
The fact is that in his last term in Congress (2005-6), Kline has collected a compensation over $300,000 and has authored one bill, HR2132, that was signed into law and provides some benefits to military personnel regarding student financial assistance. One bill in two years, for a member of the Majority Party that serves on the House Committee for Armed Services, and the Subcommittee for Military Personnel. Quite impressive work for an elected official that’s made four trips to Iraq, and met with hundreds of Minnesota National Guard members and active military. One bill in two years.
Kline must have a dozen people on his congressional staff. Is it their duty to hide, stretch, or distort the truth instead of serving the needs of the constituents of the Second District?

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