Thursday, August 26, 2010

Oh Really: "the failed stimulus bill" as Related to Veterans

Vote 2010: Rossi, Murray spar on veterans' issues

Aug 25, 2010 - Washington's U.S. Senate race heated up Wednesday as Sen. Patty Murray and challenger Dino Rossi battled over veterans' care and spending. A KOMO News story ignited controversy after a Rossi supporter and veteran Deryl McCarthy told KOMO it was time to take a much closer look at spending, including money aimed at helping veterans.

Murray's campaign seized the moment by issuing a statement that said, "Following KOMO News' report yesterday that Dino Rossi's campaign believes our country is 'spending recklessly' on the Veterans Administration, U.S. Senator Patty Murray and veterans from around the state will hold a conference call with reporters this afternoon to call on Rossi to explain his campaign position and define which VA services need to be cut."

Murray held that call on Wednesday.

Rossi's campaign then issued its own statement late Wednesday afternoon:

"Senator Murray's latest false attack is an attempt to paper over an important fact about her record: The main threat to our Veterans programs right now is the enormous amount of spending and debt that Patty Murray has voted for: the massive bailouts, the failed stimulus bill, the earmarks and other wasteful spending which is jeopardizing Congress's ability to provide our Veterans the benefits they've earned. {read more}

Do this Dino Rossi and the others, who seem to only find they represent a very large Veterans Community all over this Country in the few months prior to elections, theirs, need to be reminded of what they think and find nothing wrong with as to that huge Veterans Community and many within, look at the photo! Or how much 'Sacrifice?' they demanded from the rest of the country as to "is jeopardizing Congress's ability to provide our Veterans the benefits they've earned" from that Congress back when that were beating the drums of wars of choice and rubber stamping no bid contracts for a mercenary army and their friendly private contractors, and campaign contributors, while doing extremely little in Congressional Oversite and Investigations that needed to be finally started, and continue, in 2008 Well into both conflicts!

Lets look at that "failed stimulus bill" as just related to us Veterans Community as well as, Especially, this New Generation of Combat Veterans!

VA Obligates Last of its Recovery Act Funds to Help Veterans

$1.8 Billion Investment Improves Care and Services for Veterans

And just how were the American Public finally 'Sacrificing' without even knowing it nor caring once again as to veterans issues but had already been condemning and continue to do, as this Rossi his breatheran and those who not only speak for them but their so called base who worship them, Well this is just a quick run down:

Health Care Services Enhanced

VA obligated $1 billion to improve VA medical care facilities across the country through building renovations, roadway and walkway repairs, high cost equipment replacement, security improvements, new construction, replacement of steam lines and boiler plants, upgrades in emergency power distribution, and purchases of additional emergency generators among others.

To help Veterans access care, Recovery Act projects in VA medical facilities will add or improve more than 26,000 parking spaces and 39 elevator banks are being built or upgraded. VA will upgrade nearly 14,000 inpatient bed spaces, while 16 pharmacy renovation projects will help Veterans get medicines quicker and more efficiently. More than 14,400 clinical improvement projects, some with multiple exam rooms, will be undertaken.

Funds are also helping ensure VA health care facilities function more efficiently (by reducing annual recurring maintenance and upkeep cost) and are equipped to provide world-class care to Veterans.

Specific projects include:

· Bedford, Mass., VA Medical Center (VAMC) mental health unit renovation, $7.165 million;

· Philadelphia VAMC emergency room renovations, $4.74 million;

· Cleveland VAMC surgical suite refurbishment, $8.5 million;

· New Haven, Conn., VAMC private and semi-private inpatient units, $7.743 million;

· Hines, Ill., VAMC electrical distribution infrastructure upgrade, $8 million.

VA serves 5.5 million Veterans annually in its hospitals, outpatient clinics and rural health programs.

Energy Conservation

VA is promoting energy conservation and reducing its environmental footprint by investing $200 million in Recovery Act funds for renewable energy generation technologies, metering systems, and energy conservation and water-saving measures. In total, the renewable energy systems awarded represent more than 9 megawatts of planned power generating capacity from solar, wind, and cogeneration technologies.

Two national cemeteries, in Bourne, Mass., and San Joaquin, Calif., anticipate producing enough electricity to supply nearly all of their energy needs.

VA is installing solar photovoltaic systems at facilities in Albuquerque, N.M.; Tucson, Ariz.; Dublin, Ga.; Calverton, N.Y.; San Joaquin, Calif., and Riverside, Calif.

VA is erecting a wind turbine in Bourne, Mass., and is constructing a geothermal system at its medical center in St. Cloud, Minn.

In addition, VA is building renewably fueled cogeneration systems at five medical facilities: Togus, Maine; White River Junction, Vt.; Chillicothe, Ohio; Loma Linda, Calif.; and Canandaigua, N.Y.

VA is installing metering systems at all VA-owned facilities to monitor energy utilities, including electricity, water, chilled water, steam, and natural gas consumption.

VA is also investing $197 million in energy and water infrastructure improvements. VA facilities across the country are upgrading their facilities to reduce energy consumption and water usage and better manage related costs.

Claims Processing Improvements

VA is working to improve the systems for processing claims to more quickly and efficiently deliver benefits to Veterans. VA has obligated $150 million to hire, train and equip new employees to improve claims processing and speed the delivery of benefits to Veterans. VA has hired approximately 2,700 temporary and permanent employees to assist with processing Veterans' claims for VA benefits.

National Cemeteries Revitalized

Throughout VA’s system of 131 national cemeteries, 391 improvement projects are underway using $50 million in Recovery Act funding. VA is restoring and preserving 49 historic monuments and memorials, becoming more energy efficient by investing in renewable energy sources (solar and wind), moving forward on nine energy conservation projects, and improving access and visitor safety with 49 road, paving and grounds improvement projects.

Recovery Act funds are also being used to raise, realign, and clean approximately 200,000 headstones and markers, repair sunken graves, and renovate turf at 22 VA national cemeteries.

One-time Benefit Payments

The Recovery Act provided one-time $250 economic recovery payments to eligible Veterans, their survivors, and dependents to help mitigate the effects of the current economy. $7.1 million were intended for administrative support of the one-time benefit payments. VA was able to successfully administer the program with a savings of approximately $6.1 million, and may return the remaining funds to the US Treasury. {Press Release}

As i said this is just a snippet of what has been going on. But these not only have created jobs right now, or help stabilize the local markets as to, related to contractors and suppliers etc., but also helped the local small businesses in communities around the country where they've been implemented, and much of those will continue creating jobs long into the future, thus reaping more then what was invested initially by that 'stimulus' that you say 'failed'!!

Much of the above are issues that have been voiced for years and those voices, us veterans, raised louder, blowing into the wind, as two more Occupations of Choice, Afghanistan stopped being about 9/11 as soon as the drums beat towards Iraq and it was left to fester and grow with the hatreds in that region as well as around the World, while a certain political party and their backers stayed Silent for well over the last decade!

The New VA leadership, you know under that General that a certain President Fired and was supported in doing so, have been playing catchup on many of the long time issues never covered by certain folks on the payroll in Congress for decades, but Especially, like Congress since the 110th, playing catch up on issues never mentioned as to the two Wars and the New Veterans of during the years before that Congress started {you and your followers should sign on to receive the VA's press releases as there's been much more than just the above being done that your folks didn't do}!

So what you, and your ilk have been saying these last couple of years, is you Still don't want the American Public to 'Sacrifice', i.e. the needed stimulus to stabilize the collapsed so called 'free market' {reaganomics} economy you all have pushed, supported and reaped from as well as those 'job creating?' huge wealthy tax cuts that you're still trying to sell as well, as to Especially anything to do with Us Veterans and, once again, Especially this new generation of!

We already know that message and it got old years ago as our brothers and sisters have been fighting these battles while listening to hollow words from behind lapel flag pins and silence from the country, as they been suffering and dying!

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