Hamilton, Madison, and Jay

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Location: Mesa, Arizona, United States

Who are we? We're a married couple who has a passion for politics and current events. That's what this site is about. If you read us, you know what we stand for.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Congress balks at Army bonuses

Be glad it's me talking about this and not Marcie. If it were her, there'd be a little mushroom cloud over our house as she blew her stack. Readers know she cares about the troops, and this would be 10 times more unacceptable to her than myself. Bryan has the scoop over at Hot Air:

I received this email from a military recruiter yesterday.

I am a detailed Army recruiter. We just had a kid sign up today. He was promised a 25k bonus. However, he had to sign a piece of paper saying that since Congress has not set aside any money for bonuses for the military (the deadline was 31 Dec 07) he may not get what was promised in his contract.

I know this may sound pretty small, but we often tell people that are interested in the Army that we’re not going to promise anything that is not in the contract. By not setting aside funds for us Congress is essentially forcing the Army (and probably the other services) to figuratively put asterisks on enlistement contracts.

I've talked about this before. We ask men and women int he military to put their butts on the line daily in defense of this nation, and it disgusts both of us that the Congress seems content to spend taxpayer money on worthless bureaucratic/pork projects, yet can't seem fit to fully fund our troops; at the very least they should be paid what they're worth. In our opinion they aren't.

We consider it virtually criminal to ask these people to sit in food lines or ask them to take food stamps so they can feed their families. This is a severe failure of Congress. They're supposed to fund the troops, and not just with what they use to fight, but also to take care of them in terms of living here, and medical care.

I know a lot of people will accuse us of pulling at heart strings -- making an emotional argument -- but that's not the case. Our soldiers should be well taken care of, not only on the battlefield, but here at home. I'm not saying give every soldier a million dollars, but when a promise is made, and Congress agreed to grant that promise, it had better be done with no arguments, and no partisan politics. To me, at least, it sure does look like partisanship in Congress is causing this problem.

End the excess spending on meaningless, good-for-nothing, and mediocre pork barrel projects and earmarks. Fund our damned troops. The deserve the money more than anyone else in Congress does. They can live without pork bribes to their states. The troops can't survive the way Congress has asked them to.

Publius II

UPDATE: It seems to be that the president pocket-vetoed this for a very valid reason:

President Bush on Friday used a "pocket veto" to reject a sweeping defense bill because he dislikes a provision that would expose the Iraqi government to expensive lawsuits seeking damages from the Saddam Hussein era.

In a statement, Bush said the legislation "would imperil billions of dollars of Iraqi assets at a crucial juncture in that nation's reconstruction efforts."

The president's objections were focused on a provision deep within legislation that sets defense policy for the coming year and approves $696 billion in spending, including $189 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Also in the legislation were improved veterans benefits and tighter oversight of contractors and weapons programs.

Frank Lautenberg put that provision in. The Democrats just don't get it, sdo they? You expose the fledgling nation to such lawsuits, and you'll collapse the fragile government that we've worked so hard to rebuild. That provision belongs in the bill as much as Lautenberg belongs in the Senate. We'll recall that the Democrats scandal-plagued Bob Torricelli for Lautenberg, after such a change was legal under NJ election law, so they wouldn't lose the seat. Lautenberg doesn't belong int he Senate, and his partisan play should cost him dearly.

The troops matter more than your damned games do, senator. This pi$$es me off more than anything else about this story. Dammit, when you fund the troops, that's all the bill should be about. It shouldn't include pork, earmarks, or anything else that doesn't directly involve the funding.

Publius II


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