Bachmann Backs Off Plan to Cut VA Budget

February 06, 2011 | Terry Howell

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) recently announced her plans to rein in federal spending, in part by cutting $4.5 billion from the Department of Veterans Affairs – specifically disabled veteran compensation. This sent shock waves through the veteran community. In response, veteran’s service organizations, including the VFW and AMVETS, issued statements condemning her plan for stripping away the support disabled veterans count on, especially during a time of war.

On Feb. 4, Bachmann released a statement backing off her plan to cut disability compensation for vets who also draw Social Security benefits. Referring to her budget cutting plan as a “discussion list,” Bachmann writes:

One point on my discussion list was a $4.5 billion proposal that would affect payments made to our veterans. That discussion point has received a lot of attention and I have decided to remove it from consideration. The problem of government spending must be solved, but not on the backs of our nation’s war heroes. I have always been a proud supporter of the United States military and I continue to stand with our veterans.  In the months ahead I look forward to working with our Veterans Service Organizations to ensure that we fulfill our commitments to those who sacrificed so much in their brave service for our country.”

Some news sources report that Bachmann left in portions of her original proposal to freeze on Disability Compensation and Veterans Pensions and cap VA Health Care spending. However, the latest version of Bachmann’s “discussion list” does not include any cuts to the VA budget. In fact the last line now reads: “Proposal to reduce veterans benefits by $4.5 billion eliminated 2/04/11.” It appears that Rep. Bachmann got the message – loud and clear.

Read the original article, ‘Veterans Vow to Fight Bachmann Budget Cuts,” on Military.com.

About Terry Howell

Before becoming the Managing Editor for Military.com, Terry served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate and aircrewman. In his final role in the Coast Guard, Terry served as a Career Development Advisor, where he provided career, finance, education, and benefits counseling to servicemembers and their families. Since retiring from the Coast Guard, Terry has authored the book, The Military Advantage, managed the content for TurboTap, the DoD's online transition program and VAforVets, the VA's transition assistance website. Terry earned both his Bachelor's and MBA at Corban University using Military Tuition Assistance and his GI Bill benefits to help cover the cost.

Comments

  1. Article sounds more like MSNBC than Military.Com and to think a lot of these comments are coming from military people. I would hate to think that an operation would be considered without all aspects being considered and discussed. Good ones are improved on, bad ones are discarded, but at least they are considered. For some simple mind to bring in the "Tea Party" or say she needs to find a new job, shows a person that I would not want to follow in combat. They would be one of those that afterwards would stick their finger in their mouth and say "gee, I didn't think of that". As a Vet, I will judge my vote on the "bottom line" actions of my rep, not for thinking "outside the box". Being able to consider unfavorable things shows intelligence to me. How she votes on bills, and what the bill says is how I will judge. No matter where the spending gets cut, and it must be cut, the affected will yell "not my pie". I am seeing a lot of 'me, me, me here.

  2. levon simmons says:

    That what happen when politics confront real life reality. Here a conservative republican that has money non service connected has or born with wealth who really has no idea the **** a combat veteran have gone thru and still going thru after war. It amaze me to our suppose elected official made some stupid *** statemant and decesion. They sit washington in a cushion recliners just acting like a dam fool. For those or you who voting wheither it democratic / republia

  3. levon simmons says:

    That what happen when politics confront real life reality. Here a conservative republican that has money non service connected has or born with wealth who really has no idea the **** a combat veteran have gone thru and still going thru after war. It amaze me to our suppose elected official made some stupid *** statemant and decesion. They sit washington in a cushion recliners just acting like a dam fool. For those or you who voting wheither it democratic / republia

  4. John Kidwell says:

    Well, well, here we go again. A person that has no ownership in this country wanting to punish the ones that do. The non performers always find a way to punish the performers and we wonder what is wrong. One thing for sure is she just eliminated herself off my list for a possible higher office support. I have learned over time the words may change but the thoughts never do. The thoughts always seem to find a way back. Oh just to make it clear, holding elected office does not buy you ownership, it is just a job. A lesser one on top of that.

  5. Deane Gilmour says:

    Send this ****** to Afghanistan, she has leeched of the labors of men for far too long. No draft for her jsut do what she wants with her life and no govt to get in the way wuth the wars these legislators cause. Govt interference in her life, no way, in fact she has had the govt giving her special treatment just because she is a C>>< and bleeds every 28 days. Besides she gets her 2 1/2 percent towards her 5 year vested retirement every year, and does NOT have to worry about Social Security backups and taxes, while the military has to serve 20 or be medically retired after wounds to get their 50% of nothing compared to what she will get.
    The older I get the more I believe it was NOT God that took that rib from Adam's side.
    Just another reason to go back to the old Roman and Greek way and make the Senate and the Emporer LEAD in battle.

  6. What a *****! The bad thing is, she’s going to get a nice retirement check after being voted into her position after her first term. Thanks MN…We need more folks like her running our Gov’t. NOT!

  7. This is what the tea party is all about

  8. Joe Reynolds says:

    I AGREE 100%THOSE ARMCHAIR WARRORS NEED TO LEAD THE CHARGE ON THE BATTLE FIELD. FEEL WHAT ITS LIKE COMEING HOME MISSING PARTS OF THEIR BODY OR MIND. THAT WAS DONE TO THE BLUE WATER VETS.

  9. It’s a crying sham how I have to read about decisions that not only affect my wife and kids and every other vet that’s out there to include my father who is a 100% disabled vet, my brother, also disabled vet and my self, 100% disable in a wheel chair because we all served to protect such GREATFUL persons like this lady have to be thrown to the wolves so she can sit high and pretty in her safe big office and make such *€%#ed up proposals like this. Now my wife will ha e to TRY and find a job to make up for what she wants to do to myself and my kids. Man, and this is how she thanks us for putting her there. Lady better luck next time. Feeling for all my brothers and sisters that are going thru this **** with me. At times you really get to know how much our sacrifices are really worth by people like this.

  10. Dale Midgley says:

    Rep. Bachmann seems to have forgotten the words of Abraham Lincoln in his second inaugural address March 4th, 1865
    “To Care for him who shall have borne the battle and his widow and his orphan”
    This is the “Motto” of the VA and is at the core of the VA’s commitment to veterans. The party of Lincoln was progressive not regressive. We do not
    need a toxic brew from a Tea Party member.

  11. It is people like her who have NO idea what happens to our vets in a war. We vets put our trust in the hands of people like her & we end up with products like Agent Orange, PTSD, TBI & the list goes on . We defend freedom so they can screw us in the end. I'm angry that she is willing to abandon us AFTER WE HAVE DONE OUR part. Remindes me of a used car sales man. MN voters should make sure she is never relected.

  12. LordRussell says:

    I am 100% disabled and CAN’T even get MY social security benefits! I have been turned down 3 times, twice by conservative twits cut from the same cloth as this ****. The latter had the nerve to state in writing that I had lied about my service record and what I did for a living in the civilian circuit; all the while both the aforementioned individuals probably had relatives get them their initial positions within the government grind and allowed them to step on whomever it took to get them where there are now so they can peer down their nose at me. Maybe my comments are a bit off target, but the this trickle down effect shows that the system does indeed need to change drastically. If they are treating one disabled vet this way, how many much more deserving vets are being done this way as well?

  13. STOP GOVERNMENT SPENDING!!!
    This is the news across the country.

    Easy to do. List:
    1- stop inflated congressional pensions with free health care
    2- stop free health care for illegal aliens
    3- stop promoting/inflating welfare payments and benefits
    4- stop bailing out irresponsible business and promote honest responsible local business
    5- eliminate unnecessary government positions
    6- stop sending billions to foreign countries and their ‘disasters’
    The list goes on and on.

  14. Nam Vet71-73

    Still waiting also

  15. Retired Sgt says:

    I am a disabled Vet. Without my VA comp I have no life. She would have to go live in the unibomber cabin!!!!! Translation KEEP YOUR MITS OFF MY BENIFIT I DID THE TIME!!!!!!!!!! BE VERY VERY CAREFUL BACHMAN

  16. They vote for them because Karl Rove did a brilliant– really— brilliant job of persuading people who are going to need these types of services over to the party who continually cuts the services. He did so by ginning up the folks with fears of gay marriage, touting that the liberals were not religious, and other tactics. The trouble is that Karl Rove is ten times smarter than the voting public and he knew. I work for the Federal Govt. Our COLA was recently frozen for the next two years. Yet, idiotically, people in the govt voted for this Republican House. Either they don't understand the PLATFORM the party is pushing— or I myself and missing something huge. Next, it will be Social Security and Medicaid. And then when everyone is out on their own they can look in the mirror and ask what happened?

  17. Out of touch? She doesn't care. She belongs to a party that says "you aren't a millionaire….why not?"

  18. WHAT are you talking about? T his is the problem with the voting public. You must be a Tea Pary supporter…but you don't even know the platform they are pushing.

    Whether you bring yourself to admit it or not– Michelle Bachman is arguably the mosted highly noted Tea Party leader at the moment on the national stage. If she got air time at a press conference to announce her position— OF COURSE SHE's REPRESENTING THE VIEWS OF THE TEA PARTY!!

  19. i am assuming about now you are putting a stamp on the return envelope that contains you suvivor benefit payment.thank you for your service