But when it comes to the lives of our troops, Mitch McConnell has sadly done the opposite. When it became clear that Russia had placed bounties on troops in Afghanistan, he was all but silent about the danger they were in and the executive branch’s handling of the bounties. He helped send our forces overseas almost 20 years ago, and when their lives were being directly threatened by an enemy, he turned his back on them.
Now, it appears our commander-in-chief called our troops who were wounded or died in battle “suckers and losers.” Our troops deserve better from their leader. As a Kentuckian and a former Marine, I’m disappointed to see that McConnell hasn’t spoken up to say, “This is wrong.” He never deployed overseas himself, and he is too afraid of political consequences to speak up for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.
I won’t be that kind of senator for our troops (or for Americans). I’ll stand up to any commander-in-chief, no matter their party, because I know the consequences of failing to do so.
It’s not just that Mitch hasn’t spoken up for our troops and veterans. Dishearteningly, he has turned his back on them legislatively, too.
During his time in Washington, Mitch McConnell has voted to allow health care fees to triple for more than 3 million veterans and has voted against at least $510 million in additional funding for veterans’ mental health care.
He blocked “the most comprehensive veterans legislation,” introduced in decades to expand health care, education and job training benefits for veterans and their families. He introduced legislation that would have discontinued tax credits critical to keeping many veterans’ families above the poverty line. And he voted at least four times against pay raises for our troops, while voting for at least six pay raises for himself. I’m saddened that Mitch has chosen to use his 36 years in the Senate to erode away at the benefits and respect our veterans have earned.
We owe it to the men and women who currently serve in uniform, as well as our veterans, to keep our promises to them and repay them for their sacrifices. They deserve our respect and appreciation, in both our words and our actions, for defending our freedoms and keeping us safe from harm.
For Amy’s plan to help veterans and active duty troops, please visit her Serving Our Troops and Veterans Page.