While John Kline and the Bush administration claim to be strong on National Security, they both have an undeniable solid records of ignoring the needs of our soldiers and veterans.
Next time you see John Kline in uniform, wrapped in a flag, declaring his support for our military...ask him if taking care of our fighting men and women should be a first priority for anyone who claims to be strong on national security like him? And if he says yes, then ask him why his voting record doesn't reflect military support. We all know actions speak louder than words:
Kline's Actions On the battlefield:
Kline isn't providing our soldiers proper or sufficient body armor/humvee armor. Tens of thousands of soldiers deployed to Iraq were outfitted with Vietnam-era flak jackets incapable of stopping an AK-47 round instead of the Army's best body armor because the Bush Administration had failed to procure and provide them with the needed armor kits prior to their deployment.
While John Kline has repeatedly said that body armor is not a problem even Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld has said there has been an ongoing shortage of body armor for soldiers in Iraq because the government did not anticipate the scope of the insurgency. A study was recently release that showed 80% of the fatal injuries to Marines might have been prevented by additional armor coverage. Additionally more than 10,000 of the 12,000 Humvees in Iraq are currently without adequate armor. The Bush Administration's Fiscal Year 2005 budget which Kline supported would provide funding for the construction of 818 new armored Humvees, but provides zero funding for upgrading the 10,000 vulnerable vehicles already in Iraq. The Army does not expect a full compliment of heavily armored Humvees to arrive in Iraq for more than another year.
Kline's Actions Off the battlefield:
Both President Bush and John Kline have a lengthy history of opposing any legislation providing health care to soldiers serving on the front lines in Iraq and the War on Terrorism and their families. Despite his recent rhetoric, Both clearly and repeatedly opposed providing reservists and their families with access to military health care. On July 8, 2003, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld stated "If the President is presented a bill that...expands TRICARE, then I would join other senior advisors to the President in recommending that he veto the bill."
On November 6, 2003, Congress (but not John Kline) overrode the President's objections and passed legislation opening the TRICARE program to National Guard and Reserve soldiers and their families for one year. Even though the President signed this legislation, his Administration has refused to implement the law, and thousands of reservists and their families have been denied access to health care. In fact, the Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) reports that "the Pentagon has yet to offer any timetable for implementation or give any indication that implementation planning has even begun. Apparently, they're clinging to the hope that they can somehow get out of this responsibility." (Legislative Update, 2/27/04).
Kline Voted Against $53 Million Boost for Veterans Health Care & Benefits. Dependency and Indemnity Compensation. The amendment failed, 213-214.
Kline Voted For the Budget that cut veterans programs (HR95). Kline voted for final passage of the $2.6 trillion budget conference report for 2006. The report cut Medicaid spending by $10 billion, spent every penny of the Social Security surplus, increased the nation deficit by $167.5 billion over 5 years and paved the way for oil drilling in the Arctic additional Wildlife Refuge. Furthermore, the conference report cut funding for veterans' health care by $additional billion over five years. Yet the budget still found room for $106 billion in tax cuts for those who need it the least, wealthy corporations and their owners.
Kline voted against debt assistance for returning Guard & Reservists.
Kline opposed increased spending On Veterans And Homeland Security.
Kline opposed $100 Million increase for Military Personnel. The vote was against a proposal to the budget to increase funding for military health care by $100 million and transitional job training for military personnel by $50 million.
Kline Voted Against Additional Job Assistance to Veterans Returning from Overseas. The vote opposed a motion to a job training reauthorization bill to provide extra assistance to veterans who are returning from conflicts overseas.
Kline Voted Against Full Retirement & Disability Benefits For All Veterans. A motion fund full disability and retirement benefits for all of the nation's veterans.
Kline Voted against providing the highest levels of funding for veterans' medical care(HJR 2) and President Bush's full request for Homeland Security funding.