Missoulian: Rehberg abandoned veterans in debt debacle

For all the partisan talk in Washington, D.C., about standing your ground, Congressman Denny Rehberg is standing on shaky ground when it comes to honoring veterans’ service. Rehberg might think he took a principled stand on the budget, but he’s got the wrong principles.

Rehberg and some of the most radical members of Congress have taken a hardline approach to fixing our debt challenges. Here’s the problem: They’ve drawn a line at protecting Montanans who fought for their country overseas.

Important lifelines like the Veterans Administration could have been gutted by as much as 25 percent in one of the plans Rehberg recently voted for. Veterans have already paid for access to the VA by serving our country in foreign wars, so it’s completely reckless for Rehberg to put our benefits at risk because he won’t get rid of tax loopholes for his millionaire friends.

Rehberg’s disregard for the impacts of his decisions doesn’t just affect veterans – it affects Montanans who count on Medicare and Social Security, too.

Medicare and Social Security are also important guarantees that Montanans have already paid for by working and paying taxes our entire lives. And just as Rehberg can provide no guarantee that his plans protect veterans’ benefits, he can’t guarantee protections for Medicare and Social Security either.

The irony is Rehberg – along with many of his colleagues who stood in the way of a bipartisan debt solution – will drape themselves with the flag whenever a TV camera is around.

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