Senator Claire McCaskill - June 25, 2012

Post date: Jun 28, 2012 2:51:18 PM

From: []

Sent: Monday, June 25, 2012 8:42 AM


Subject: Reply from Senator McCaskill

June 25, 2012

Dear Neslo Ventures,

Thank you for contacting me regarding the interests of servicemembers and veterans as Congress addresses our nation's deficit and long-term debt. I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.

In these difficult economic times, it is more important than ever to protect the benefits and care that our military members have earned. Whether they are currently deployed overseas, serving and training back home, or were honorably discharged years ago, I remain committed to ensuring our brave men and women in uniform are properly and fully supported.

Earlier this year, the Department of Defense requested authority to raise certain TRICARE fees on military retirees. I am opposed to the Department's request, which is why I am proud the Senate Armed Services Committee, on which I serve, has rejected additional TRICARE fees in the Fiscal Year 2013 National Defense Authorization Act. While I believe there are savings to be had in the Pentagon's budget, we must not balance our nation's budget on the backs of our veterans who have already borne the cost of protecting our freedom.

As the budget debates continue in Congress, I know that many Missourians like you are watching with tremendous personal interest. As Congress works to address our budget deficit and our long-term debt -- which former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen labeled our most significant national security challenge -- some have become increasingly concerned that hard-won victories for wounded servicemembers and veterans may be jeopardized. I will be working on behalf of our nation's veterans to make sure that this does not happen.

While in the Senate, two of my most significant priorities have been reducing Washington's spending and advocating on behalf of those who have fought to secure our freedom. I am proud to say that I have voted against every bloated omnibus spending bill that has come before me and have never requested an earmark. I have also successfully worked with my colleagues to ensure that veterans have received significantly increased resources after an era of too many attempts to short change veterans.

Whether fully funding the independent budget of major Veterans Service Organizations for the first time, drastically reforming how we support our most recent wounded warriors, winning critical increases in mileage reimbursement rates for disabled veterans traveling to receive care, or increasing the numbers of claim processors to address the claims backlog at the Veterans Administration, we have made important progress for our nation's veterans. Please know that I remain committed to ensuring that our military heroes - past, present and future - receive the support and benefits they earned. Thank you for your service and for your commitment to veterans. God bless and God bless our country.

Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.


Claire McCaskill

United States Senator

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