Local Veterans Stand with John Plumb to Denounce Congressman Reed’s Poor Record on Veterans Issues
Commander John Plumb, fourth generation Western New Yorker, U.S. Naval Reserve Officer, and candidate for Congress in New York’s 23rd district, stated: “Yet again Congressman Reed is showing that he is a typical politician who gives lip service to our veterans when he is in the district, but votes in Washington against the care they have earned. In my 22 years in the military and as the son, brother, and grandson of veterans, I have seen firsthand the sacrifices veterans make to keep us safe and Congressman Reed's willingness to play political games with key programs they have earned is deeply upsetting."
Local veteran Frank Gawronski, said, “Commander John Plumb is a stand-up guy that will work hard and fight to be a champion for New York veterans. As someone that has served myself, I know this because those are the values he has demonstrated through his more than twenty years of military service. On the other hand, Congressman Reed has shown through his disrespectful attacks on John’s service and poor voting record that he does not have what it takes to fix the many issues that our former service members face every day.”
Local veteran and business owner Mark Puckhaber, added, “On top of his unacceptable attacks to Commander Plumb’s service, Congressman Reed also needs to answer to the thousands of veterans in New York for his repeated votes to cut short veterans’ healthcare and treatment programs."
Stephen Keefe, the former Mayor of Fredonia, New York and a veteran, said, “I’m disappointed with the number of times Congressman Reed has voted against improving programs to aid veterans. John Plumb has not only served his country, but he also continues to do so today. As a veteran, I support him because he has always stood up for his country and I believe he will always strive to promote the needs of veterans.”
Rep. Reed Voted for MilCon-VA Appropriations Bill That Underfunded VA by More Than $1 Billion, impacting 70,000 Veterans: In April 2015, Reed voted for legislation that would underfund the VA and impact veterans’ health care, medical research, education, and cemeteries. “Addressing the Democrats at a closed-door caucus meeting in the Capitol Wednesday, VA Secretary Robert McDonald warned the lawmakers that the GOP's $77 billion bill funding the department and military construction projects in fiscal 2016 falls short of the resources needed to provide health and other services to the nation's veterans. Relaying McDonald's message, Rep. Xavier Becerra (Calif.), chairman of the Democratic Caucus, said the GOP's bill would scale back health benefits for roughly 70,000 veterans, while also denying funds for medical research, education and veterans’ cemeteries … Passed with bipartisan support by the House Appropriations Committee last week, the bill provides a 5.6 percent increase for the VA over 2015 levels, but falls more than $1 billion shy of the figure President Obama had included in his 2016 budget request.” The bill passed 255 to 163. [HR 2029, Vote #193, 4/30/15; The Hill, 4/29/15]
Rep. Reed Voted Against Increasing VA Funding for Veterans Medical Services by $15 Million: In April 2015, Reed voted against a motion that would have added $15 million to VA funding for veterans’ medical services. The motion failed 181 to 236. [HR 2029, Vote #192, Motion to Recommit with Instructions,4/30/15]
Rep. Reed Voted Against Increasing Funds for Veterans’ Healthcare and PTSD Treatment: In June 2014, Reed voted against a motion that would increase funds for military healthcare by $10 million. The motion would increase funding for the Defense Health Program by $10 million. $5 million of the increase would be directed towards decreasing the veterans’ claims backlog by improving electronic health records at Veterans Affairs, while $5 million would be directed to treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. [CQ Floor Votes, 6/20/14] The motion failed, 190-220. [HR 4870, Vote #337, 6/20/14]
Rep. Reed Continues to Attack Commander Plumb’s Military Service: Congressman Tom Reed has continuously questioned Commander Plumb’s commitment to New York by pointing to time spent away from the district while Commander Plumb was serving his country. Congressman Reed has also attacked Commander John Plumb’s military service by saying things such as, he has refused “to take meaningful action against terrorism.