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James Marshall (D-GA) introduced a discharge petition.
During a session when the House voted to end the estate tax (and two months after eliminating the dividend tax), Republican's are closing ranks to ensure the Veteran's Disability Tax stays in place. The Veteran's Disability Tax works like this: Military Retirees who are disabled because of service connected injuries or illnesses pay the Veterans Disability Tax. For every dollar they receive from the VA for their service-connected disability, they must forfeit a dollar of their retirement pay.

Year after year, Congress has introduced HR 303 and S.392, legislation that would correct this unfair and unjust practice. The measures enjoy a supposedly overwhelming support from legislators. Last year 90% of the House and 80% of the Senate were Co-Sponsors of these legislative initiatives. Unfortunately, year after year, these bills die in committee. This year there are over 350 cosponsors

This year, Rep. James Marshall, D. GA, introduced a discharge petition to bring HR 303 to a vote. House Republican leadership has directed Republicans not to sign the petition. So far, it seems to be working - only one Republican has signed. Not even the bill's author, Florida's Rep. Mike Bilirakis, is willing to sign because of party pressures. Speaker of the House J. Denis Hastert (R-IL) (who never served in the military), is sending strong messages to the Republican rank and file that anyone who signs Rep. Marshall's discharge petition will suffer. Our Representative in Congress, has not responded to repeated requests for their intentions regarding the discharge petition, but I'll bet we can guess. Those who have signed are proud to say so, those who won't don't answer their phone calls, FAX's, and letters!

It seems as though the Republicans want to make sure the rich do not have to pay taxes on their dividends or vast estates, but that disabled veterans need to continue to pay a taxes on their disabilities.

Republican Party "Kick a cripple" platform 30.Jul.2003 04:45

cripple kicked

The Republican party by its action to prevent a discharge petition being signed by its members so abolishment of the disabled Veterans Tax can be DISCUSSED demonstrates their utter contempt for disabled veterans. I guess its easier to kick the crutches out from under a disabled vet than it is to stand up and be counted in a vote. There may be a lot of physically "crippled" vets out there but the Republican party by its actions has shown itself to be morally crippled. "Out the door in 2004" is the battle cry of disabled vets and their families. The Republicans that sponsored repeal of the Disabled Veterans Tax and then refused to sign a discharge petition to aloow discussion and a vote make pond scum look clean.

Retribution 30.Jul.2003 21:32

E. F. Baldwin efbaldwin@charter.net

The only thing the Republicans understand is the power of the vote. Let us make it clear that anyone who is a co-sponsor of H.R.303 and refuses to sign the discharge petition will be on all, repeat ALL, veteran's organization political hit list. The power of the Republican Party can be shifted quickly if they continue to screw the retired military. We must send a message to these politicians, espcially Hastert, that we are no longer begging -- we are damn well demanding justice in the passage of this bill.

Last years bill that covered Purple Heart recipients, and those with 60% disabilty turns out to be a total farce. Only 7% of the 20,000 applications have been approved. The DOD will not even honor the bill passed last year. They have told each service to disaprove these applications.

Get tough -- even if it means ousting Bush too!

E. F. Baldwin, Major, USAF, (ret.)

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