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    This page contains excerpts from government reports, signed by elected officials.

17LTR-DVA on Jan 26, 2017

Report: exempting Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze
Source: Letter on DVA
Excerpts from Letter from 53 Senators to President Trump We are deeply troubled that your freeze on the hiring of federal civilian employees will have a negative and disproportionate impact on our nation's veterans. As such, we urge you to take stock of this hiring freeze's effect on our nation's veterans and exempt the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) from your Hiring Freeze.
  • Have you considered how this hiring freeze will affect VA's ability to provide veterans with access to health care?
  • How it will affect VA's ability to decide on appeals for disability compensation?
  • How it will impact those veterans who apply to federal jobs?
We urge you to classify VA's delivery of health care as a national security and public safety responsibility, and exempt it from this hiring freeze. To do otherwise is to jeopardize the national security and public safety of our nation.

Opposing argument: (Heritage Foundation, "Eliminate Redundant Government Hiring," May 9, 2017): It's not hard to find federal programs that are duplicative or ineffective. The president's executive order requires all agency heads to submit plans for reorganizing their operations. Their proposals are to "include recommendations to eliminate unnecessary agencies and programs." That all sounds great, but what does it actually mean?

Well, for starters, it means the previous federal hiring freeze is no more. But it doesn't mean programs and departments are free to hire willy-nilly. Instead, they've been instructed to follow a smart-hiring plan, consistent with the President's America First Budget Blueprint.

A few agencies, like the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs, will beef up staff. Most, however, will have to pare down employment. All federal employees can expect to see resources shift to higher-priority ones. Many may be asked to do something new or different with the goal of optimizing employees' skills and time. Also see related Women's Caucus veterans policy

    Participating counts on VoteMatch question 15. Question 15: Expand the military Scores: -2=Strongly oppose; -1=Oppose; 0=neutral; 1=Support; 2=Strongly support.
  • Topic: Homeland Security
  • Headline: Exempt Veterans Affairs from federal hiring freeze (Score: 1)

  • Key for participation codes:
  • Sponsorships: p=sponsored; o=co-sponsored; s=signed
  • Memberships: c=chair; m=member; e=endorsed; f=profiled; s=scored
  • Resolutions: i=introduced; w=wrote; a=adopted
  • Cases: w=wrote; j=joined; d=dissented; c=concurred
  • Surveys: '+' supports; '-' opposes.

Democrats participating in 17LTR-DVA

Tammy Baldwin s1sWI Democratic Challenger 
Michael Bennet s1sCO Democratic candidate for President; Colorado Senator 
Richard Blumenthal s1sCT Democratic Sr Senator 
Cory Booker s1sNJ Democratic Jr Senator 
Sherrod Brown s1sOH Democratic Sr Senator 
Julia Brownley s1sCalifornia Democrat 
Maria Cantwell s1sWA Democratic Jr Senator 
Benjamin Cardin s1sMaryland Democrat 
Tom Carper s1sDE Democratic Sr Senator 
Bob Casey s1sPA Democratic Sr Senator; previously state treasurer 
Chris Coons s1sDE Democratic Jr Senator 
Lou Correa s1sCalifornia Democrat 
Catherine Cortez Masto s1sNV Democratic Senate candidate 
Joe Donnelly s1sIN Democratic Challenger 
Tammy Duckworth s1sIL Democratic Senate candidate 
Dianne Feinstein s1sCA Democratic Sr Senator 
Al Franken s1sMN Democrat/DFL Jr Senator (resigned 2017) 
Kirsten Gillibrand s1sNew York Democrat 
Kamala Harris s1sCA Democratic nominee for Vice President; California Senator 
Martin Heinrich s1sNew Mexico Democrat (Senate run 2012) 
Heidi Heitkamp s1sND Democratic Challenger 
Mazie Hirono s1sHawaii Democrat (Senate run 2012) 
Tim Kaine s1sVA Democratic Challenger 
Amy Klobuchar s1sMN Democrat/DFL Sr Senator 
Annie Kuster s1sNew Hampshire Democrat 
Patrick Leahy s1sVT Democratic Sr Senator 
Ed Markey s1sMA Democratic Senator 
Claire McCaskill s1sMO Democratic Sr Senator; previously state Auditor 
Jeff Merkley s1sOR Democratic Jr Senator 
Chris Murphy s1sConnecticut Democrat (Senate run 2012) 
Patty Murray s1sWA Democratic Sr Senator 
Bill Nelson s1sFL Democratic Sr Senator 
Beto O`Rourke s1sTexas Democrat 
Gary Peters s1sMI Democratic Jr Senator 
Jack Reed s1sRI Democratic Sr Senator 
Kathleen Rice s1sNew York Democratic House Member 
Bernie Sanders s1sPOTUS Democratic Presidential candidate 
Brian Schatz s1sHI Democratic Jr Senator 
Charles Schumer s1sNY Democratic Sr Senator 
Jeanne Shaheen s1sNH Democratic Sr Senator 
Debbie Stabenow s1sMI Democratic Sr Senator 
Mark Takano s1sCalifornia Democrat 
Tom Udall s1sNew Mexico Democrat (Senate 2008) 
Chris Van Hollen s1sMaryland Democrat (retiring 2016) 
Mark Warner s1sVA Democratic Sr Senator; previously Governor 
Elizabeth Warren s1sMA Democratic Challenger 
Sheldon Whitehouse s1sRI Democratic Jr Senator 
Ron Wyden s1sOR Democratic Sr Senator 

Republicans participating in 17LTR-DVA

Independents participating in 17LTR-DVA

Angus King s1sME Former Independent Governor (1995-2002) 

Total recorded by OnTheIssues:

Democrats: 48
Republicans: 0
Independents: 1

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