Schumer Awarded Top Score For Support of Veterans In Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America Report

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U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer received the highest overall grade of "A+" in the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) congressional report card. In scoring the U.S. Senators, IAVA focused on nine legislative actions including boosting of funding for Veteran's healthcare in 2007 and 2008, expanded veterans' benefits and legislation dealing with housing, disability claims and education benefits for veterans.


"We have the best fighting forces in the world, and they deserve the world's best treatment when they come home. Our veterans and their families make huge sacrifices for our country and we must do everything we can to honor those sacrifices," Schumer said. "We are still a long way away from keeping our promises to our troops. I will continue to work night and day until all our heroes have full access to the benefits they earned."


IAVA is the nation's first and largest group dedicated to the troops and veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the families of those troops and veterans. The group officially released its congressional report card last week. The report card grades every congressional member on his or her leadership and voting record on key Iraq and Afghanistan veterans' issues including the GI Bill, veterans' funding and mental health care. The report card recognizes the 110 th Congress' unprecedented achievements on behalf of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans. It also highlights the lawmakers who failed to make veterans a priority.


Scores are based on how often legislators took the proveteran position. For every vote in line with IAVA and in support of veterans, the lawmaker received one point. Those who voted against the position of IAVA, or those who failed to vote, did not receive a point.


Much of IAVA's scoring revolved around legislation to boost education benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans, known as the "Post 9/11 GI Bill: Fair Education Benefits for Veterans."


In the Senate scoring, IAVA focused on nine legislative actions: boosting of funding for veterans' healthcare in 2007 and 2008; more money for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, known as MRAPs, for troops fighting in Iraq; expanded veterans' benefits in 2007; 2008 legislation dealing with adaptive housing for disabled veterans, disability claims processing and education benefits for apprenticeships and onthejob training. Schumer received 11 points, the maximum number of points available in the Senate.


Among the Senate's cosponsors of the education benefits overhaul are several who received an "A+" for their support of veterans. Senator Schumer received 9 out of 9 votes with IAVA Action, plus 2 points for Post9/11 GI Bill cosponsorship giving him a perfect score.


A full copy of the report as well as individual members' scores can be accessed here: http://www.veteranreportcard.org/  

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