Press Release ● Defense and National Security
For Immediate Release: 
April 23, 2004
Contact Info: 
Stacey Farnen

WASHINGTON – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today following a meeting with almost a dozen veterans groups today:

“I was pleased to have the opportunity to meet with the veterans community today,” Congressman Hoyer said.  “It is imperative that our nation keep our promises to our veterans, however irresponsible Republican fiscal policies have made it much more difficult to follow through on our commitments to those who served our nation. 
“It is unconscionable that thousands of veterans wait six months or more for an appointment at a VA hospital, and that number will only grow as more veterans come home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This sends a very poor message to our troops in the field and to the young men and women who would like to serve in the future,” concluded Hoyer.
“At this difficult time in America with our country at war in two different places and a growing number of wounded and disabled veterans turning to the VA Health Care System, we greatly appreciate Steny Hoyer and the Democratic Leader opening their doors in a frank and constructive dialogue about the future of veterans health care in America," said Richard Fuller, National Legislative Director, Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA).

Bob Norton, Deputy Director of Government Relations, Military Officers Association of America (MOAA), added “We appreciate the opportunity to be invited to meet with the Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer to discuss issues of importance to the military and veterans community.  We are looking for support from both parties to eliminate the widow's tax in the Survivor Benefit Program.  It is absolutely essential with a nation at war to take care of veterans and their families.”