The United States is home to 21 million veterans, and Veterans’ Affairs is the second-largest federal department, with a budget exceeding $119 billion. Many veterans, however, remain under-served. Republicans are seen as veterans’ champions, and they send the majority of Congressional constituent communications on veterans’ issues, yet they are lead sponsors on only 37 percent of bills considered by the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee. What accounts for this discrepancy? Drawing on thousands of e-newsletters sent from Congress to constituents, Congress and U.S. Veterans: From the GI Bill to the VA Crisis argues that the distribution of veterans across districts and the Republican Party is based on government spending, which pulls Republican legislators in opposite directions.
This eye-opening book offers a history of veterans’ programs, highlights legislative leaders and the most pressing policy areas for reform, identifies the issues most often discussed by members of Congress from each party, points out which Congresspeople have acted on veterans’ issues and which have not, and offers an analysis of veteran population distribution and legislative policy preferences.
- Includes content from nearly 20,000 e-newsletters sent from Congress members to constituents to demonstrate the differences in how Congress discusses and legislates veterans' issues
- Provides a detailed description of the key legislative players, proposals, and communication strategies surrounding veterans' policies
- Offers advice on providing for the future of veterans' policies and describes the risks and benefits associated with moving veterans' care into private industry
- Offers the first in-depth case study on the implementation of the post-9/11 GI bill
- Suggests the scandal surrounding the 2010 Phoenix VA hospital is an example of partisan differences in communication tactics