Becerra calls for better veteran benefits

May 17, 2008 at 12:42 PM
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LOS ANGELES, May 17 (UPI) -- U.S. soldiers returning from overseas military service should receive better benefits, U.S. Rep. Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., said Saturday.

Becerra said during the weekly Democratic radio address that Republican President George Bush has routinely cut funding for veterans programs while raising related healthcare costs, creating a situation that further pressures soldiers returning home.

Citing the legacy of former Democratic President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Becerra said Congress has created a new version of the GI Bill aimed at improving better veteran benefits.

"FDR's lesson to us was that for every dollar America invested in the original GI Bill, $7 were returned to the American economy," Becerra said. "That's not only smart economic policy, but it lives up to President Roosevelt's moral ideal of giving, quote, 'emphatic notice to the men and women in our armed forces that the American people do not intend to let them down.'"

The congressman called on Bush and the Republican Party to support the new changes, which he said would greatly benefit the nation.

"Indeed, if America is to remain the undisputed leader in the manufacturing of ideas and opportunity, education must be our top priority," the California politician said.

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