MSNBC host Rachel Maddow argued on Wednesday that the problems currently surrounding the country’s Veterans Affairs (VA) department predated both President Barack Obama and department Secretary Eric Shinseki’s administrations, and were fueled in part by Republican budget cuts and inaction.
“There is a modern American dysmorphia when it comes to veterans,” she said. “We see things that aren’t really there. We tell ourselves that we’re doing things that we’re not really doing. We have a poetry in this country about our love and respect for veterans that is not matched by the prose of how veterans are actually treated.”
Maddow noted that in March 2003 — the same month the U.S. began its second war against Iraq — the GOP-led House of Representatives approved a budget cutting $14 billion from the VA’s budget. Two years later, Anthony Principi, who was appointed by then-President George W. Bush, released a statement saying the department did not “require additional resources” despite the escalating cost of that conflict.
Lawmakers later had to approve an emergency $1.5 billion budget influx following reports that local VA facilities were instituting hiring freezes and lacking the ability to make necessary purchases.
Yet it’s Republicans who are now engaging in a coordinated effort, she said, to oust Shinseki amid an investigation into alleged record-keeping malfeasance in VA clinics in 26 cities.
“Not even the people who are clamoring for him to go — not even the people who are clamoring for the president to fire General Shinzeki — say they believe that that would solve the problem at the VA,” Maddow said. “I mean, whether or not you want Eric Shinzeki to keep his job, what would it take to fix the problem?”
Watch Maddow’s commentary, as aired on Wednesday, below.
GOP congressman demands Pelosi’s House floor statement be ‘taken down’ after she denounces Trump’s racist tweets
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) on Tuesday took to the floor of Congress to read a statement denouncing President Donald Trump's recent statements telling four congresswomen of color to go back to their home country.
"The comments are racist," Pelosi said. "How shameful to hear him continue to defend the offensive words. Words we have heard him repeat not only about our members but about countless others. Our caucus will continue to forcefully respond on these attacks which reflect a fundamental disrespect for the beautiful diversity of America. There’s no place anywhere for the president’s words which are not only divisive but dangerous and have legitimatized an increased fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color."
WATCH: GOP lawmaker has a meltdown on the House floor over resolution condemning Trump’s racism
As the House of Representatives debated a resolution that condemned President Donald Trump for making racist tweets, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-WI) had an emotional meltdown in which he said Trump couldn't be a racist because he never specifically mentioned anyone's race.
On Sunday, Trump told Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) to "go back" to the countries they came from, despite the fact that all four women are American citizens and three of them were born in the United States.
Duffy, however, insisted that there was nothing racist about telling American citizens of color to "go back" to foreign countries even though most of them were born in the U.S.
GOP strategist calls Trump ‘a vile racist’ — who is counting on white voters being just as racist as he is
Republican strategist Rick Tyler told MSNBC Tuesday that President Donald Trump is clearly doubling-down on his attempts to court an all-white voting bloc for 2020. Tyler called it "vile" and "racist," noting that he doesn't say those words lightly.
Citing Washington Post reporter Phil Rucker, Tyler agreed that the Republican Party is trying to twist the issue to make it about ideology and not race. However, Trump never attacked specific issues; he told the women to go back to their countries of origin and called them terrorists.