Congress and U.S. Veterans
From the GI Bill to the VA Crisis
by Lindsey Cormack
September 2018, 290pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Praeger

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-5836-9
$75, £58, 66€, A103
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-5837-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

In communications to their constituents, Republicans talk about veterans twice as much as Democrats do.

Providing a compelling look at veterans’ policy, this book describes why the Republican party is considered the party for veterans despite the fact that Congressional Democrats are responsible for a greater number of policy initiatives.

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
Lindsey Cormack, PhD, is assistant professor of political science and director of the Diplomacy Lab at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, NJ. Her research on congressional communications has been published in peer-reviewed journals such as Legislative Studies Quarterly and Gender Studies as well as in popular outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Hill. She maintains the database of official Congress-to-constituent e-newsletters at
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