Lincoln: Who's the liar? | Arkansas Blog

Monday, October 18, 2010

Lincoln: Who's the liar?

Posted By on Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 1:36 PM

Rep. John Boozman turned to an increasingly popular tactic among Republicans this year when confronted with a critical Sen. Blanche Lincoln news release on his votes on legislation of value to active duty military and veterans. He called Lincoln a liar, but offered no proof. It's just like Rick Crawford saying it's a lie to say he's spoken in favor of a national sales tax and private Social Security accounts, even though video exists of him saying just that. Tim Griffin said it's a lie to say he's engaged in vote caging in Florida, when e-mail confirms the activity. And so on.

Lincoln fires back today with a point-by-point brief on Boozman's failure to vote for legislation for the military.


Last week, Congressman John Boozman staged a press conference and called Senator Blanche Lincoln a liar. Aside from owing Senator Lincoln an apology, he owes Arkansas voters an explanation as to why he voted against stand-alone provisions that added money for health care services to National Guard and Reservists; provided transitional job training for military personnel; and provided debt assistance for returning Guard and Reservists.

Since September 13, Senator Lincoln’s website has carried a side-by-side comparison of her voting record defending and protecting veterans and Congressman Boozman’s frequent votes against veterans funding. There are 20 votes in all and Congressman Boozman used his press conference to dispute only two of them. He didn’t provide any proof that Senator Lincoln is lying about his record, only angry rhetoric.

“There is no ‘lie’ here Congressman,” Lincoln campaign manager Steve Patterson said. “Only a voting record that exposes a career in Congress where you say good things about our military and veterans but when it comes time to improve veterans care or expand benefits, you typically vote ‘no.’”

The Record Congressman Boozman Doesn’t Want Arkansas Voters To Know …

Body Armor

2003: Boozman Opposed Funding for Protective Equipment for U.S. Troops. In 2003, Boozman voted against an amendment to transfer $3.6 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds for quality of life enhancements for U.S. service members. The funding would have gone toward U.S. military needs, including “Kevlar vests (40,000 U.S. soldiers in Iraq don’t have them), for Kevlar blankets under Humvees to protect against land mines and for money to rehabilitate injured soldiers and provide plane fare for home visits and cell phones to call home.” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/17/2003; HR 3289, Vote 547, 10/16/2003] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

2010: Boozman Voted Against Funding for Body Armor and Armored Vehicles. In 2010, Boozman voted against the 2011 Defense Authorization, which allocated additional funds “for equipment depleted by the war in Iraq including new combat vehicles; new battle gear for the Army National Guard and reserves,” as well as funding for body armor and armored vehicles. [Congressional Quarterly Today, 5/28/2010; House Vote #336, 5/28/2010]

2009: Boozman Voted Against Equipment Funds for National Guard and Armored Vehicles. In 2009, Boozman voted against the 2010 Defense Authorization, which included funding for equipment for the National Guard and Reserves, as well as funding for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles. [House Vote #770, 10/8/2009]

2009: Boozman Voted Against Billions in Funding for Equipment for our Troops. In 2009, Boozman voted against the supplemental bill, which appropriated over $25 billion for equipment for servicemembers in Iraq and Afghanistan, including $500 million for National Guard and Reserve equipment, and $4.5 billion for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles to protect our troops. [House Vote #348, 6/16/2009]

Health Care

Boozman Opposed Budget that Included Historic Increase in Veterans’ Health Care Funding. In 2007, Boozman voted against the fiscal year 2008 budget conference report that included what was then the “largest increase ever provided” in veterans’ medical care funding. [Overview of FY2008 Budget Conference Agreement, 5/16/2007; House Vote #377, 5/17/2007]

Boozman Opposed $1.7 Billion For Veterans’ Programs, Including Health Care Funding. In 2007, Boozman voted against a supplemental appropriations bill that provided $1.7 billion for veterans’ programs, including $1.3 billion for veterans’ health programs and $380 million for the VA. The bill provided $2.8 billion for military health care costs and funds to ensure servicemembers don’t have to pay extra out-of-pocket payments. In addition, the bill included $20 million for improvements to Walter Reed. [House Vote #186, 3/23/2007]

Boozman Opposed Expanding TRICARE to Thousands of National Guard & Reserve Volunteers. In 2005, Boozman voted against a motion that would recommit the Defense Authorization bill to the House Armed Services Committee with instructions to include language that would extend access to the military’s TRICARE health insurance program to all reservists and National Guard members. [House Vote #221, 5/25/2005] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Opposed $53 Million Boost for Veterans Health Care & Benefits. In 2005, Boozman voted against an amendment to add $53 million for veterans’ health care and other benefits, offset by a 9 percent cut to BRAC. [House Vote #224, 5/26/2005] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Opposed $100 Million for Military Health Care. In 2005, Boozman voted against a motion to recommit the Supplemental Appropriations bill to the Appropriations Committee with instructions to add language that would increase funding for military health care by $100 million and for transitional job training for military personnel by $50 million. [House Vote #76, 3/16/2005] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Voted Against $2.9 Billion For Veterans’ Health Care. In 2005, Boozman voted against an amendment to add $2.9 billion for veterans’ health care programs to the Fiscal 2006 budget resolution. [House Vote #82, 3/17/2005] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Voted Against $1.8 Billion For Veterans’ Health Care. In 2003, Boozman voted to adopt the rule on the VA-HUD appropriations bill that denied a boost of $1.8 billion for veterans’ health care programs that advocates had been seeking. [House Vote #450, 7/25/2003; Congressional Quarterly, 7/25/2003]

Boozman Voted Against Additional $1.3 Billion For Veterans’ Health Care. In 2003, Boozman voted against providing an additional $1.3 billion for veterans’ health care in the Supplemental Bill. [House Vote #600, 10/31/2003] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Voted Against Additional Funding for Veterans’ Health Care. In 2002, Boozman voted against a proposal to provide additional funding for veterans’ health care under the Fiscal 2003 Continuing Appropriations bill. [House Vote #473, 11/13/2002] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Crucial Benefits

Boozman Opposed Debt Assistance for Returning Guard & Reservists. In 2005, Boozman voted against a motion to the 2005 bankruptcy reform bill to exempt members of the National Guard and Reserve from the means test in the bill if their debt was a result of active duty or was incurred within two years of returning home from their service. [House Vote #107, 4/14/2005] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Opposed Additional Job Assistance to Veterans Returning from Overseas. In 2005, Boozman voted against a motion to a job training reauthorization bill to provide financial assistance for job training, job searching or relocation costs for veterans returning from active duty in Iraq. [House Vote #47, 3/2/2005] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Opposed Full Retirement & Disability Benefits For All Veterans. In 2003, Boozman voted against a motion to add provisions to the Defense Authorization bill that would allow all veterans to immediately receive full disability and retirement benefits simultaneously. Since the 1890s, U.S. policy has been to reduce a military retiree's retirement pay by $1 for every dollar he receives in disability compensation. [House Vote #616, 11/7/2003; Macon Telegraph, 11/8/2003] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Voted Against $1 Billion Increase in Veterans’ Funding While VA Facing Shortfall. In 2005, Boozman voted against a Democratic effort to provide an additional $1 billion for veterans. Just a week before the vote, VA Secretary Jim Nicholson told lawmakers that the VA needed “an extra $1 billion for health care.” [House Vote #325, 6/28/2005; Associated Press, 6/28/2005]

Boozman Voted Against $1.6 Billion for Veterans. In 2005, Boozman voted against a budget substitute that would have added $1.6 billion in funding for veterans. [House Vote #87, 3/17/2005]

Boozman Voted Against Increasing Military Pay. In 2003, Boozman voted against increasing military pay in the Supplemental spending bill by $265 million to cover $1,500 bonuses for each servicemember in Iraq and Afghanistan in fiscal 2004. [House Vote #554, 10/17/2003] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

Boozman Voted Against Establishing Minimum Home Stays Between Deployments for U.S. Troops. In 2007, Boozman voted against a bill that would established minimum intervals between deployments for troops. [House Vote #796, 8/2/2007] **STAND-ALONE VOTE

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