President Joe Biden stepped up to the House GOP on Tuesday, posting a chart on Twitter sarcastically emphasizing that the debt ceiling bill Republicans narrowly passed last week will hurt veterans’ benefits.
“I hear House Republicans out on TV saying they would never vote to cut veterans’ benefits,” Biden tweeted from his official account. “In case there’s any confusion, I made a little chart that could help them out.”
Republicans have been insisting that the debt ceiling bill they forced through the House on Wednesday is a good faith effort and a starting point for negotiations with Senate Democrats and the Biden White House even though they’ve disingenuously tied the bill to the debt ceiling and stuffed it with obvious non-starters for Democrats.
Biden’s sassy post comes as House Republicans continue to stick to the GOP playbook and claim their bill is good for the American people.
Since last week House Republicans have been publicly whining about the Department of Veterans’ Affairs — which put out a press release to warn the GOP’s debt ceiling bill could lead to job loss within the department and could force the VA to reduce telehealth services and access to medical care, and could lead to longer wait times for critical programs and cut housing vouchers for veterans.
House Republicans are trying to spin the narrative to argue that the VA has been politicized rather than acknowledging their prop bill could actually hurt the department. The bill was passed as part of a broader Republican effort to try and strong arm Democrats into negotiating while they hold the debt ceiling hostage until they get what they want.
“In my nine years as a member of Congress, I have never seen the use of an agency that is so vitally important to so many people be used as a political hammer, to deliver a message that is false, so that it would stir people up to cause our veterans to be used as pawns in a political game,” Rep. Mike Bost (R-IL), who’s also the chairman for the House Veterans Affairs’ Committee, argued in a press call on Sunday afternoon.
Other Republicans have also been launching similarly bad faith attacks on the department as well.
“They’re shamelessly lying about veterans benefits and politicizing the VA to do so,” House GOP Conference Chair Elise Stefanik (R-NY) said.
Meanwhile, Rep. Andrew Clyde (R-GA) took it even further, suggesting that House Republicans should investigate the VA for violating the federal false statements statute with the claims made in the press release.
Following suit, Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD) proposed cutting funds for the VA’s communications department.
“Obviously they have too much money in the communications department if they’re spending it on political purposes,” Harris said.