State Rep. Rick Noriega provides a flavor of what it will feel like to support President Bush’s veto of the GI Bill in the Houston Chronicle:
Unfortunately, my opponent, Sen. John Cornyn, failed to stand up for our troops. Cornyn was one of only 22 senators to vote against the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Act, continuing his history of turning his back on veterans. Adding insult to injury, Cornyn went so far as to condone and encourage a presidential veto of the bill. Webb’s GI Bill passed with the support of 75 senators, including Texas’ senior Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Texas needs two senators fighting for our veterans and our families. It is reprehensible that Cornyn supports keeping our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan but refuses to provide for our soldiers once they return home. As a public servant, as a soldier and as a Texan, I am ashamed of Cornyn’s continued efforts to deny our troops the benefits they earned defending the United States.
Sen. Cornyn argues that financing higher education for veterans would encourage soldiers to leave the military to attend college. The notion that we should limit benefits to force our troops to stay in the military is morally repugnant. The knowledge I gained while attending college is instrumental in the work I do as a member of the Texas House of Representatives and as a lieutenant colonel in the Texas Army National Guard. I believe that higher education should be a reality for any American who wants it, and I am disheartened by Cornyn’s desire to deny this valuable right to the honorable men and women of the armed forces. A stronger GI Bill will help military recruitment, attracting America’s most capable and gifted volunteers to the military during a time when we need more troops than ever…
We call these young men and women the “next greatest generation,” and given the opportunity to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, I will do everything in my power to make sure they are treated that way.
Sens. Alexander, Cochran, Enzi, Graham, McConnell, and Sessions are the other Republicans up for re-election this year that voted against the bill. Sens. Alexander and McConnell may live to regret it.