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PA-Sen: Sestak Blasts Toomey on Veterans Issues

SestakJoe Sestak is making sure Sen. Pat Toomey doesn’t forget our nation’s past warriors, as the country debates the virtues of entering another conflict in the Middle East.

Sestak wants Toomey to support and co-sponsor the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act, which would expand benefits and treatments for Agent Orange exposure to deepwater Navy veterans. Current protections only apply to ground and inland “brown water” Navy troops.

The former three-star Navy admiral highlighted Toomey’s “failure to stand up for” veterans and his “abysmal record on veterans issues” – which includes voting to authorize the Iraq war, as well as 10 consecutive votes against budget for the Department of Veterans Affairs and votes against several bills to help returning Iraq and Afghanistan veterans – but told Toomey he can “take steps to begin to rectify his record.”

“It is wrong for Pat Toomey to say that he cares about veterans when he has such a long history of voting against our veterans and allowing crucial legislation like the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act to languish and die,” Sestak said.

Toomey’s record of voting against VA budgets has been praised by a few, including Concerned Veterans for America – a political action group founded by the Koch brothers – who thanked PA’s junior Senator for holding the VA “accountable for its failures” in a $1.5 million August ad campaign.

“It is time for Toomey to stop saying one thing when talking to veterans and then doing another when he has a chance to serve them,” Sestak said. “We need accountable leaders in the Senate, something Toomey has repeatedly failed to provide.”

9 Responses

  1. Lee-

    When Sestak was in congress, he voted several times to put more on the Iraq War “credit card” without any of the accountability he promised to insist upon.

  2. Really!….. It is amazing how many Republicans have forgot Bush’s war with the wrong country Iraq. The war that he paid for with a credit card. This war in Iraq destabilized the whole Middle East. Directly responsible for the terror in the world today. Then you have Koch Brother stooges like Toomey who vote against every bill that would help returning veterans made more insulting because it public forums he talks about helping vets but always voted against them.

  3. I love it when libs complain about “endless wars” like their guy hasn’t been commander in chief for the last 7 years.

  4. Here’s an idea…how about if you repubs don’t start any more new wars that you can’t pay for? How about if you do that? :-/

  5. Apparently the new Democrat strategy is to load up veterans’ bills with unrelated amendments and pork barrel spending and then attack Republicans when they don’t vote for them. Remember, this is party that was accusing our vets of raping Iraqi civilians and proclaiming that “the war in Iraq is lost” less than 10 years ago.

  6. The VA already extends disability compensation to blue water navy veterans if there is a factual basis for the alleged disability caused by Agent Orange. See

    Agent Orange is an herbicide, i.e., a plant killing substance. A blue water sailor who never stepped foot ashore in Vietnam most likely would have never been exposed to Agent Orange. In the event that there was some basis for exposure, they can still file a claim for a case-by-case review.

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