President Biden Is Honoring Service Members With Action

In honor of Memorial Day, DNC Deputy National Press Secretary Nina Raneses released the following statement:

“Every day, but especially today, President Biden and Democrats across the country honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. The Biden-Harris administration is supporting veterans and their families through the historic PACT Act, which has now helped over 880,000 veterans nationwide receive the care and services they deserve. President Biden has worked tirelessly to address veteran homelessness, improve access to child care and long-term care for our service members, and champion education and workforce opportunities for veterans and their families, unlike Trump, who repeatedly failed veterans and insulted fallen soldiers. President Biden and Democrats remain dedicated to providing support for those who have sacrificed their lives in service to our country as well as their loved ones — this is the respect they deserve for their service; not to be insulted by the commander in chief.”

Thanks to President Biden’s PACT Act, the Department of Veterans Affairs granted 1 million benefits claims to veterans and survivors, helping them to receive new benefits they deserve.

Associated Press: “About 111,000 veterans who are believed to have toxic exposure have enrolled in VA health care since the law was enacted. In addition, more than 4.1 million veterans have completed toxic screenings, which are questionnaires to analyze their potential exposure and determine whether additional tests are required.”

NBC News: “According to the White House, 888,000 veterans have already received a combined $5.7 million in benefits under the PACT Act.”

The Hill: “The PACT Act is having a big effect across the VA. More than 440,000 veterans enrolled into VA health care last year, a 30 percent increase year-over-year. The VA has expanded its staff to meet the demand.

“‘The bottom line here is we are bringing more veterans in,’ the official said. ‘We are getting them the care that they deserve. And they’re currently reporting trust levels in the outpatient arena — nearly 92 percent, which is the highest ever.’”

The Biden administration has taken historic measures to expand services  for veterans and their families.

White House Fact Sheet: “As part of the White House Strategy on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, VA announced it will establish an Office of Food Security to help tackle food insecurity among veterans, expand the clinical nutrition services it provides to veterans receiving VA health care, and pilot produce prescription programs, food pantries, and mobile food pantries to meet the needs of veterans.”

White House Fact Sheet: “Under the leadership of First Lady Jill Biden’s Joining Forces initiative, the Hidden Helper Coalition supports the more than 2.3 million children and youth living with and serving wounded, ill, or injured service members and veterans.”

Associated Press: “Jill Biden honors kids of injured troops as ‘hidden heroes’”

White House Fact Sheet: “Thanks to efforts by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the US Interagency Council on Homelessness, and VA, as well as historic investments from the President’s American Rescue Plan, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 11% between 2020 and 2022 – the largest decline in the last five years – and our nation is on track to permanently house 38,000 veterans in 2022 alone. To further this progress, last month, VA awarded $130 million to support programs to help veterans and their families find stable housing.”

VA News: “How the American Rescue Plan aids VA in helping Veterans”

MAGA Republicans voted to BLOCK the PACT Act and other legislation created to support veterans and their families. 

NPR: “The Senate passed a bill to help sick veterans. Then 25 Republicans reversed course”

“Tom Porter, the executive vice president for government affairs at Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, noted that many of the 25 senators issued press releases touting their earlier votes in support of veterans, only to turn their backs on them.”

Business Insider: “President Joe Biden — who has blamed burn pit exposure for his late son Beau’s brain cancer — urged Congress to pass the bill during his first State of the Union address in 2022. The initial version of the legislation later passed the House in March 2022, and then a Senate-amended version passed the House again in July 2022.

“In both instances, Schweikert was among the Republicans who voted against the bill. Biden later signed the bill into law on August 10, 2022. Insider reached out to Schweikert’s office for comment on why he did not support the bill, but did not receive a response. According to the US Census, more than 41,000 veterans live in Schweikert’s Scottsdale-area district. It’s the latest example of Republican lawmakers touting programs created by legislation that they voted against.” “Here’s How New House Speaker Mike Johnson Voted on Veteran and Military Issues”

“On veterans issues, last year he voted against the PACT Act, considered the biggest increase of veterans benefits in a generation that expanded benefits and health care for those exposed to toxic substances during their military service.

“Johnson also voted against a year-end package of smaller veterans and military family measures last year. Among other provisions, the bill mandated that states recognize service members and spouses’ valid professional licenses from other states and ensured veterans won’t lose GI Bill benefits if schools have to close in a future emergency like they did for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

HuffPost: “Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) was captured on video Thursday fist-bumping Sen. Steve Daines (R-Mont.) shortly after Republicans managed to block the PACT Act, which would allow soldiers, sailors and airmen exposed to pits of smoldering waste in combat zones to be covered by the Veterans Affairs health care system for linked illnesses. Many are suffering from cancer.”

Trump repeatedly bashed veterans, calling fallen soldiers “suckers” and “losers.”

Axios: “Former President Trump didn’t want to visit a cemetery near Paris for Americans who fought and died in World War I because it was filled with ‘suckers’ and ‘losers,’ John Kelly, his longest-serving chief of staff, said in a statement to CNN on Monday.”

MSNBC: “In a 2020 report for The Atlantic, Goldberg quoted sources who said that, while planning a 2018 military parade, Trump wanted wounded veterans excluded because ‘Nobody wants to see that.’ Goldberg also reported that Trump’s decision not to visit American military interred in a French cemetery in 2018 wasn’t because the rain made it unsafe to fly, as Trump claimed, but because the cemetery was ‘filled with losers.’

CNN Politics: “‘Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.’ During that same trip to France, the article reported, Trump said the 1,800 US Marines killed in the Belleau Wood were ‘suckers’ for getting killed.”

Trump appointed Mar-a-Lago associates who wanted to profit off of veterans, lining their own pockets over the needs of those who served our country.

The Hill: “Like other aspects of the Trump administration, the VA has been plagued with unnecessary instability caused by reactive personnel changes based largely on perceptions of loyalty related to Trump and his inner circle.”

ProPublica: “Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Buddies Tried to Get the VA to Sell Access to Veterans’ Medical Records”

“Former President Donald Trump empowered associates from his private club to pursue a plan for the Department of Veterans Affairs to monetize patient data, according to documents newly released by congressional investigators.”

Business Insider: “Three associates of former President Donald Trump worked to persuade the Department of Veterans Affairs to sell veterans’ medical records for profit, according to emails released Monday by US lawmakers.”