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COLUMBIA, S.C. - Congressman Joe Wilson (SC-2) claims to support veterans, but his voting record shows otherwise, say South Carolina Democrats. His shameful voting record exposes his denial of funding for veterans' health care, housing assistance, education, tax cuts, and job training programs. During Wilson's time in office, he has voted against billions of dollars of vital funding for veterans while accepting more than $100,000 in lobbyist-funded trips for himself and his staff and increasing his annual pay by $28,900 taxpayer dollars.

In 2003, Wilson voted in favor of a budget resolution that cut taxes for the wealthy while taking $15 billion from veterans' benefits. In 2005, Wilson voted against an amendment to increase veterans' health care and other benefits by $53 million. In 2007, Wilson voted against a budget that provided a $6.6 billion increase in funding for veterans' programs.

Retired USAF Colonel Blaine Lotz of Beaufort County called Wilson's record of opposing increased benefits for our military heroes disgraceful.

"Joe Wilson's claims of support for our troops are at odds with reality.  He consistently voted against providing our veterans with better housing, job training, and medical care," said Lotz.  "Since Joe has a penchant for slogans, maybe his should be 'cutting veterans' funding,' rather than 'cutting the fat.'"

BACKGROUND
WILSON'S LOBBYIST-FUNDED TRAVEL:

Wilson Has Approved More Than $100,000 In Travel For Himself And His Staff.  Wilson approved 45 trips for his staff and 9 for himself, with a cost of over $100,000.  [Legistorm.com, accessed 8/18/2010]

WILSON  RAISED HIS OWN PAY:
2006: Wilson Voted To Give Himself $3,300 Salary Increase. In 2006, Wilson voted in favor of giving himself a two-percent pay raise to boost his own salary by $3,300 to $168,500. The House voted in favor of the pay raise by a vote of 249-167 [H.R. 5576, Vote #261, 6/13/06; Washington Post, 6/14/06].

2005: Wilson Voted To Give Himself A $3,100 Salary Increase. In 2005, Wilson voted in favor of giving himself a $3,100 pay increase, bringing his salary to $165,200. The House voted in favor of the pay increase by a vote of 263-152 [H.R. 3058, Vote #327, 6/28/05; Chicago Tribune, 6/29/05].

2004: Wilson Voted To Give Himself A $4,000 Salary Increase. In 2004, Wilson voted in favor of giving himself a $4,000 pay increase. The House voted in favor of the pay raise by a vote of 235-170 [H.R. 5025, Vote #451, 9/14/04; Chicago Tribune, 9/15/04].

2003: Wilson Voted To Give Himself An Approximately $3,000 Pay Raise. In 2003, Wilson voted in favor of giving himself a 2.2 percent salary increase, raising his yearly salary "from just under $155,000 to just over $158,000." The House voted in favor of the pay raise by a vote of 240-173 [H.R. 2989, Vote #463, 9/4/03; Seattle Times, 9/5/03].

2002: Wilson Voted To Give Himself A $5,100 Pay Raise. In 2002, Wilson voted in favor of a 3.4 percent pay raise, increasing his own salary by $5,100, bringing his salary to $155,100. The House voted in favor of the pay raise by a vote of 258-156 [H.R. 5120, Vote #322, 7/18/02; Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 7/19/02].

WILSON FAILED OUR TROOPS:

Wilson Voted Against $30 Million For Construction Of Veterans Trauma Center Tailored To Meet The Needs Of Veterans Injured By Explosive Devices In Iraq & Afghanistan [H.R. 1591, Vote #186, 3/23/07; CQ House Action Reports, 3/20/07].

Wilson Voted Against $56 Million For Prosthetics For Wounded Veterans [H.R. 1591, Vote #186, 3/23/07; CQ House Action Reports, 3/20/07].

Wilson Voted Against $20 Million To Address Issue Exposed At Walter Reed
[H.R. 1591, Vote #186, 3/23/07; CQ House Action Reports, 3/20/07].

Wilson Voted For Budget That Cut Veterans' Funding By $6 Billion [H. Con. Res. 376, Vote #158, 5/18/06].

Wilson Voted For Budget That Under-Funded Veterans Programs By $13.5 Billion [H. Con. Res. 95, Vote #149, 4/28/05].

Wilson Voted Against An Additional $1.3 Billion For Veterans' Health Care
[H.R. 3289, Vote #600, 10/31/03; CQ Floor Votes, House Roll Call Vote 600, 10/31/03].

Wilson Voted Against Additional Funding For Veterans' Health Care [H. J. Res. 124, Vote #473, 11/13/02; CQ Floor Votes, House Roll Call Vote 473, 11/13/02].

Wilson Cast Deciding Vote To Reject $1,500 Bonus For Each Servicemember In Iraq & Afghanistan [H.R. 3289, Vote #554, 10/17/03; CQ Floor Votes, House Roll Call Vote 554, 10/17/03].

Wilson Voted Against Financial Assistance For Job Training, Job Searching Or Relocation For Veterans Returning From Active Duty In Iraq [H.R. 27, Vote #47, 3/2/05; CQ Floor Votes, House Roll Call Vote 47, 3/2/05].

Wilson Voted Against Ending The Military Families Tax
[H.R. 5122, Vote #144, 5/11/06; CQ Floor Votes, House Roll Call Vote 144, 5/11/06].

Originally posted to Jamie Sanderson on Thu Aug 19, 2010 at 01:53 PM PDT.

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