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Veterans Should Not Be Held Hostage in Budget Impasse

As the government shutdown continued, there was plenty of blame and lots of shame to be passed around.

For veterans, it’s looking like they may become hostages to the political infighting and budget impasse.

“Veterans groups have reacted angrily to news that an extended government shutdown will leave the Department of Veterans Affairs unable to make disability compensation and pension payments to veterans,” according to a Sept. 30 story in The Washington Post. “Losing the payments could have a devastating impact, particularly on severely wounded veterans who are unable to work and depend on VA checks, said Tom Tarantino, chief policy officer for Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.”

“Congress and the White House, they’re playing chicken with people’s lives,” Tarantino was quoted as saying. “That’s where this becomes scary.”

“We have to be hopeful that Congress will reach some sort of compromise before millions of disabled veterans and survivors are financially devastated,” Joe Davis, spokesman for Veterans of Foreign Wars, told the newspaper.

If that happens, it will be shame on everybody.

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