Report: GOP would cut vet housing vouchers

March 11, 2011 at 1:03 AM

WASHINGTON, March 11 (UPI) -- Democrats in Congress blasted a plan to cut a program for homeless U.S. veterans, while Republicans said it simply eliminates unused vouchers.

Under the Republican plan, 10,000 vouchers, each worth about $7,500 a year, would be cut, McClatchy Newspapers reported Thursday. The total savings to the federal budget would be about $75 million.

"We owe it to our veterans to provide them with the resources and support they need to put a roof over their heads," said Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., chairwoman of the Veterans Affairs Committee. "And this is just one more example of the Republicans' reckless budget that puts politics and ideology over families, communities and even those who have served and sacrificed for our nation."

Rep. Tom Latham, R-Iowa, said about 11,000 of the 30,000 vouchers available this year have not been used.

"The fact of the matter is there will not be a veteran, a homeless vet, that will not get a voucher," he said.

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, suggested the need is much greater. He pointed to a study that said 76,000 veterans are homeless.

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