Originally posted in June 2018:
Kathleen Rice (D-NY) took to Twitter on Friday to complain that the Veterans Administration official motto “overlooks the service and sacrifice of women veterans.” The motto is a problem, according to Rice, and it must be changed.
The motto that is so offensive to Kathleen Rice is “To care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan.” This motto was pulled from the second inaugural address of President Abraham Lincoln on March 4, 1865. While attempting to heal an incredibly divided nation as the Civil War was coming to a close, President Lincoln said the following:
“With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow, and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.”
Kathleen Rice is of the opinion that these words are outdated. Women make up approximately 15% of active duty personnel, and they must feel offended when they approach a VA. Fortunately for us, women in the military are made up of stronger stuff than that. Other Members of Congress did not fall for the virtue signaling of Kathleen Rice and grant her the audience to change President Lincoln’s immortal words. However, since Kathleen Rice has such a great love of women in the military, an examination of her voting record for all veterans, including women, is necessary.
Kathleen Rice voted against the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act, which is currently law. This law creates an office of accountability, so the VA is held to the standard that our veterans, men and women, deserve. It also protects whistleblowers, in case someone wants to call out corruption. Kathleen Rice was 1 of only 55 Nay votes. 231 Republicans and 137 Democrats voted for this common sense legislation, a truly bipartisan law in a deeply divided time. Other Nay votes included Keith Ellison, Nancy Pelosi, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Maxine Waters.
Kathleen Rice voted against the Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2019 (HR 5895), which provides more money to provide the care and support for our veterans and their families, including for VA Medical Care, processing disability claims, VA construction, and the new VA electronic health record system. The bill also strengthens oversight and accountability at the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs. Again, Rice’s Nay vote was joined by Ellison, Pelosi, Waserman Schultz, and Waters.
Kathleen Rice voted against the Veterans 2nd Amendment Protection Act, which protects not only veterans’ right to bear arms, but also their right to due process. Some veterans go to the VA for financial assistance, and some people claim that this fact alone automatically means that the veteran is mentally incompetent. This bill prevents the removal of firearms from a veteran unless a judge orders it upon a finding that the person is a danger to herself or others. Rice accepts that soldiers abroad must protect themselves with guns, but does not recognize that same right for veterans, men and women alike, at home.
Kathleen Rice voted against the VA Accountability First Act of 2017. This bill merely allowed the VA to remove or demote employees who are not performing or are guilty of misconduct.
The only positive record that Kathleen Rice has in regard to the VA is the Dental Insurance Reauthorization Act of 2016, a bill so obvious that it was passed unanimously so no record of individual votes was made. This bill was identical to the Senate bill that was passed (and authored by Republican Richard Burr), so Rice didn’t have to do anything but put her name on it.
When Kathleen Rice goes to bat for women veterans, she will only do so in the most virtue signaling method imaginable. She will not actually vote for them when they truly need it. Women veterans deserve more than an inconsequential motto change, they deserve a Member of Congress who will hold their VA accountable when it fails, and will protect their rights.
In November, we have an opportunity to vote for someone who will fight for our Veterans, the way they fought for us. Kathleen Rice only seeks to divide our veterans by gender on Twitter while not providing the services they need in the House of Representatives. Its time for a Member of Congress who will provide our Veterans what they need.
On November 6th, Vote Ameer Benno for Congress.