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Last week, I published a diary requesting Letters to the Editor via VoteVets. Let me tell you, I don't ask you to do something that I'm not willing to do myself. My letter actually got published!

To the editor:

I am appalled that Rep. Don Young supported the efforts of Speaker John Boehner and other Republican House members to keep pushing us toward a government shutdown, when it was clear troops and military families would be among those hurt.

Our troops have pledged to serve. Their families still need food on the table and to pay the rent. Yes, even those living on military bases will owe money to the privatized company running on-base housing. We still have bills to pay.

Rep. Young will still get his paycheck as will all other members of Congress.

President Obama has proposed $33 billion in budget cuts, but Republicans won’t give in on some demands, like cutting tens of millions from housing for homeless veterans. Republicans are holding us hostage and adding politically volatile items to amendments that might save military pay.

It is time for Republicans to act responsibly. They should protect our country and troops and their families from a shutdown of the government. This military wife expects no less.

It caused enough of a stir that I got a personal reply from a staffer in Don Young's office. Any of you willing to help me craft a decent response to the staffer's reply? Join me below the fleur.

Angela,

Congressman Young asked me to follow up with you regarding your Letter to Editor in Sunday’s News Miner.  If I may, I would like to make you aware of few things the Congressman has done during the 112th Congress to avoid a government shutdown.

The House has passed both a long-term Continuing Resolution (CR), H.R. 1, the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, and a short-term CR, HR 1363, Department of Defense and Further Additional Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, both of which included Defense funding for the rest of FY2011.  Unfortunately, the Senate has yet to pass any bill to continue defense funding through FY2011.

If the government had shut down, active duty military would have been received back pay, but the payments would have been delayed depending on when the budget is resolved.  However, the Congressman understood that a shutdown would have affected real people who live paycheck to paycheck and that it would have caused even more stress to our military members and their families who are already stretched thin.  Because of this, the Congressman signed a letter to House leadership and his colleagues urging them not to let the government shut down.  I have attached a copy of that letter to this email.

On April 1, 2011, the Congressman voted in support of H.R. 1255, the Government Shutdown Prevention Act.  This bill prohibits the Secretary of the Senate and the Chief Administrative Officer of the House from disbursing Member pay for every day following a lapse of more than 24 hours in appropriations for any federal agency as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or because the limitation on the debt of the U.S. has been reached.  In addition, the bill would prohibit the president from receiving pay for any period in which there is a lapse of more than 24 hours in appropriations for any federal agency as a result of a failure to enact a regular appropriations bill or because the limitation on the debt of the U.S. has been reached. The Senate has yet to act on this legislation.

Please feel free to call/email me if you have any further questions.  Have a great day!

Jason

I haven't had a chance to do my homework on these issues yet but though some of you might already know what he's talking about. Willing to leave some suggestions in the comments below?

For those of you who want to read the full gamut of opinion up in Fairbanks, AK, check out the opinion page of the Newsminer. I got lots and lots of responses, everything from military families should have 90 days pay socked away to protect themselves and that my opinion is lopsided to outright agreement (only a couple, but for Fairbanks, that's doing good).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Some possible response.... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sychotic1, angelajean, edsbrooklyn

    The congressman has an odd way of showing his concern for "real people who live paycheck to paycheck", or for "military members and their families who are already stretched thin".  It's fine that he signed that letter, but his votes and his actions overall show a real lack of concern for those who are hurting the most in our economy.  He has sided with the millionaires and billionaires to extend their extra tax cuts, while refusing to help the long-term unemployed whose jobs were destroyed in the economic crisis.  He votes against programs and funding that will help active duty members and veterans and wants to limit access to VA healthcare, but supports costly weapons programs that the military doesn't even want.

    It's nice of you to respond on the congressman's behalf, but this defense of his actions rings hollow.

    They only call it Class War when we fight back.

    by lineatus on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:42:52 AM PDT

  •  A private company (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angelajean, Sark Svemes

    now runs the housing? Was that another no bid contract. Remember when the military could do all those things for so much less. Then Bush came along and we had companies give them meals and other essentials and costs ran up thousands of percents? Just another let's give our wealth to someone else. None of that made any sense to me except for that reason.
    I am on unemployment. Instead of just getting a check from the state, I would get a debit card from Chase. How much to you think Chase charges UT to  do that? How stupid are these people?

    Obama,how many innocent people did you kill today with your drones for the corporations?

    by snoopydawg on Tue Apr 12, 2011 at 08:50:13 AM PDT

    •  Yep, when we started cutting back on the military, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sark Svemes

      under Clinton, I believe, they needed to find ways to save. So they stopped repairing a lot of military housing. They started to look for ways for private companies to run things instead. At some bases, the houses are in such disrepair, they have had a hard time finding private companies to take the contract. It's a mess. Some places, the privatization has meant better quality housing. That's a good thing. But it's not 100% successful, to say the least.

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