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Letter to the Editor: Veteran benefits, defense shouldn't be party issues

Thursday, July 10, 2003

To the editor:

House Resolution 303 would eliminate the law that forces disabled military retirees to forfeit a dollar of their retirement pay for every dollar they receive in Veterans Administration disability compensation. About 670,000 veterans have their income cut in this way. HR 303, which has 326 co-sponsors, has been referred to the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee. The Republican leadership refuses to schedule a vote.

A petition to force a vote on HR 303 needs 218 supporters. As of June 19, there were 182 representatives who had signed the petition -- 181 Democrats and one Republican. Where do Missouri's representatives stand?

A recent debate in the House Appropriations Committee over reducing tax breaks for those making over $1 million a year to put $1 billion more into the 2004 military construction budget resulted in defeat by a 34-24 party-line vote. Why are such things as the defense of our country and veterans care such partisan subjects?

WESLEY DAVIS

Poplar Bluff, Mo.