Quick Hit Aricka Flowers Thursday October 3rd, 2013, 7:07pm

Duckworth Blasts Piecemeal Approach To Funding Government, Says Plan 'Exploits' Veterans

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) blasted the House's attempt to fund only parts of the government on the chamber floor Thursday, saying it "exploited" veterans.

"The bill we are debating isn’t a serious or respectful attempt to support our nation’s heroes. It will not help Veterans. In fact, it does just the opposite," Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran, said of the attempt to fund only five federal agencies and services while keeping the rest of the government closed.

The GOP-led House has been attempting to pass continuing resolutions to reopen the Department of Veterans Affairs, National Institutes of Health, National Guard and Reserves, National Parks Services and D.C. operations.

"It cuts more than $6 billion dollars in funds for the Department of Veterans Affairs from the same bill that my colleagues and I passed 421-4 earlier this year," Duckworth continued. "I cannot support this bill because it pits one Veteran against another. It would continue paying out pension benefits at the cost of cutting medical and prosthetic research for wounded Veterans. It would give Veterans in the VA their healthcare and needed mental health services, which I applaud, but it leaves 800,000 of their brothers and sisters – my brothers and sisters – caught in the backlog where they would have to wait even longer to get a decision on their benefits. It would allow Soldiers with PTSD to access the Veterans Crisis line, but at the expense of not laying our heroes to rest in our National Cemeteries on a timely basis."

Here's a look at the congresswoman's full comments on the House floor.

Duckworth also called for a motion to recommit, which would bring the Senate's clean continuing resolution to fund, and reopen, the entire government up for vote in the House. 

Image: AP Photo/Cliff Owen

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