VCS Writes Speaker Pelosi, Urges Immediate Action on Wounded Warrior Bill

December 31, 2007
Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker of the House
U. S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

VIA FAX TO: (202) 225-8259
VIA E-MAIL TO: sf.nancy@mail.house.gov and AmericanVoices@mail.house.gov 

Dear Speaker Pelosi:

Veterans for Common Sense urges you to take action today to prevent President George W. Bush from using a dubious “pocket veto” to reject the National Defense Authorization Act for 2008, HR 1585.  Veterans need your assistance this afternoon.

Please place the House in session today for the public, the press, and the President to see.  Attorneys advising VCS tell us that if the House is in session, then the President must issue a formal veto today in order to properly kill the Defense bill.  However, if the House is in session today, and if the President does not issue a formal veto today, then the bill becomes law tonight.  This is an urgent plea for action today for our veterans.

This critical legislation contains the “Dignity for Wounded Warriors Act,” formerly S 1606, that provides extensive reforms to clean up the Walter Reed Army Medical Center scandal.  The Defense bill has bi-partisan support.  It passed the House, 370 to 49, and the Senate 90 to 3.  You have been a strong supporter of pro-veteran legislation.

VCS believes President Bush cannot use a “pocket veto” because Congress is in session.  Senator Jim Webb was filmed by CNN on Dec. 26 keeping Congress open in order to prevent President Bush from making any recess appointments.  Furthermore, your spokesman told The New York Times over the weekend that President Bush’s use of a “pocket veto” is not legally viable.  End the crisis by placing the House in session.

Congress must step up to the plate now and declare they are in session and fight for Iraq and Afghanistan war service members and our veterans who keep falling through the cracks because President Bush failed to plan for a long war with heavy casualties.

Sincerely,

Paul Sullivan
Executive Director
Veterans for Common Sense

Veterans for Common Sense is non-partisan organization providing information and advocacy on policies related to national security, civil liberties, veterans’ healthcare and veterans’ disability benefits.  VCS is registered with the IRS as a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization, and donations are tax deductible.

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