Republican National Committee Hits Dems On House-Passed Veterans Bill

The Republican National Committee announced Monday it was releasing a set of robocalls urging top Democrats and three senators up for reelection in 2014 to take up a House-passed veterans’ benefits bill. 

The robocalls urge constituents of Democratic National Committeewoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Sens. Mark Begich (D-AK), Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA) to contact their senators and “demand” that they “stop playing politics and stand up for veterans who deserve their benefits.” The robocalls come after the House-passed a bill meant to ensure veterans continue to receive benefits during the shutdown.  

Here is the text of the robocalls:

FOR SENATORS BEGICH, LANDRIEU, HAGAN AND REID:

Hi, this is ________ calling on behalf of the Republican National Committee. SENATOR (XX) and Senate Democrats think this shutdown is a game. They are playing politics by cutting off our veterans and their benefits. In a bi-partisan vote the House of Representatives wanted to make sure our veterans got the benefits they earned for fighting for our freedoms. But, SENATOR (XX) won’t negotiate. These men and women served our country with honor and yet SENATOR (XX) would rather put partisan politics ahead of honoring our commitment to the people who defended this country. Call SENATOR (XX) at xxx-xxx-xxxx and tell him/her to stand up for veterans and demand a vote in the Senate. This call has been paid for by the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500.

FOR REP. DEBBIE WASSERMAN SCHULTZ:

Hi, this is ________ calling on behalf of the Republican National Committee. Congresswoman Debbie Wassserman Schultz thinks this shutdown is a game. She voted to cut off Florida’s veterans and their benefits while the government is shutdown. In a bi-partisan vote the House of Representatives wanted to make sure our veterans got the benefits they earned fighting for our freedoms. These men and women served our country with honor but Debbie Wasserman Schultz would rather put partisan politics ahead of honoring our commitment to the people who defended this country. Call Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz at 954-437-3936 and tell her our veterans deserve their benefits. This call has been paid for by the Republican National Committee at 202-863-8500. 

The attack is a continuation of one that Republicans have tried to use during the shutdown: hit Democrats on veterans and veterans related issues. Republicans have repeatedly accused Democrats and the Obama administration of antagonism toward veterans, saying the Obama administration has gone so far as to intentionally close the Washington, D.C. monuments and memorials to retired soldiers. 

The Democratic National Committee shot back that the RNC should focus more on ending the government shutdown. 

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“The GOP shut down the government trying to take away people’s access to health care and they’ve kept it shut for two weeks because they didn’t get what they want,” Democratic National Committee press secretary Michael Czin said in a statement to TPM. “Maybe instead of trying to deflect blame, they ought to just do their jobs and vote to reopen the government.  The votes are there.  What are they waiting for?”

Updated: 12:59 PM ET

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