Tea party icon Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) backed off her controversial plan to cut federal spending for veterans’ benefits.
Her $4.5 billion proposed cut to the Veterans’ Administration “received a lot of attention and I have decided that it should be removed from consideration,” Bachmann said in an advisory Friday.
“The problem of government spending must be solved, but not on the backs of our nation’s war heroes,” she added.
The proposed cut to veterans’ health care and disability benefits was part of wider plan to eliminate $400 billion from the federal budget.
Bachmann posted a document on her official Web site, calling the spending cuts “real and necessary” to avoid increasing the debt ceiling above $14.3 trillion. She supports the United States wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The turnaround came after several veterans’ advocacy groups, including objections from the Veterans of Foreign Wars, sharply criticized her proposal.
“No way, no how, will we let this proposal get any traction in Congress,” Richard L. Eubank, VFW’s national commander, said in a press advisory.
The US federal deficit is poised to hit $1.5 trillion in 2011, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office projected recently, and while Congress debates ways to cut spending, veterans’ benefits have not yet been targeted.
“It is really astonishing to see this,” Paul Sullivan, executive director of Veterans for Common Sense, told the Army Times, noting that VA expenses have risen in recent years with thousands of US troops in need of medical attention.
Bachmann has garnered something of a cult following among tea partyers across the nation, and recently elevated her profile by offering her own “tea party” response to President Barack Obama’s most recent State of the Union address.
With reporting by Sahil Kapur.
Rep. Ilhan Omar asks judge to ‘show compassion’ for man who threatened to put bullet in her head
After a man accused of threatening her life pled guilty to the crime in a U.S. District Court, Rep. Ilhan Omar on Tuesday released publicly a letter she wrote asking the federal judge presiding over the case to "show compassion" in his sentencing.
Patrick W. Carlineo Jr., a 55-year-old man from upstate New York, pled guilty on Monday on gun charges and for threatening to murder Omar in phone calls he made to her congressional office in March of this year. But in her letter to Judge Frank P. Geraci Jr., Omar said that while the charges were quite serious she did not think that an overly punitive sentence was the answer.
Why saying ‘OK boomer’ at work is considered age discrimination – but millennial put-downs aren’t
The phrase “OK boomer” has become a catch-all put-down that Generation Zers and young millennials have been using to dismiss retrograde arguments made by baby boomers, the generation of Americans who are currently 55 to 73 years old.
Though it originated online and primarily is fueling memes, Twitter feuds and a flurry of commentary, it has begun migrating to real life. Earlier this month, a New Zealand lawmaker lobbed the insult at an older legislator who had dismissed her argument about climate change.
‘He got caught!’: Adam Schiff gives impassioned condemnation of Trump to close out the day’s impeachment hearing
When House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was gaming out the plan for impeachment hearings, she took a somewhat surprising step by placing the Intelligence Community front and center in the proceedings as it pursues the Ukraine investigation. And on Tuesday, after a long day of testimony from four critical witnesses, Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) delivered an impassioned speech that exemplified why Pelosi entrusted the trying task of leading the effort to him.
Schiff thanked Ambassador Kurt Volker and White House aide Tim Morrison for their testimony, noting that Volker had debunked Republicans' attacks on former Vice President Joe Biden.