News Releases

Murray Expresses Disappointment at Administration's Treatment of Disabled Veterans

Nov 15 2002

Congress fixed unfair formula for some vets, but Bush veto threat allows discriminatory practice to continue for hundreds of thousands of others

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Because of the Bush Administration's efforts, the discriminatory practice of denying some federal benefits to disabled veterans will continue for the foreseeable future.

Sen. Murray has worked with her Senate colleagues for years to end the unfair law requiring disabled veterans to forfeit one dollar of retirement compensation for every dollar they receive in disability pay. Earlier this year, Murray helped to push legislation through the Senate to allow veterans "concurrent receipt" of both benefits.

Murray contended that men and women who served their country and were promised a military pension, should not be penalized for becoming disabled during their service.

Unfortunately, the Bush Administration objected, and so instead of the hundreds of thousands of vets who would have been helped by the legislation Murray co-sponsored, only 35,000 combat-injured veterans will receive both benefits. While this is good news for combat-injured veterans, it subjects 676,000 service-injured veterans to continued discrimination.

Murray released the following statement.

"After years of work to end an unfair practice against our military veterans, I am sad to say that the President prefers that this discrimination continue.

It is deeply disturbing that the President's priorities do not include ending this discrimination against hundreds of thousands of disabled veterans.

America's veterans deserve our support and our gratitude for the service they provided to keep this country free. They do not deserve to be discriminated against simply because they were injured. This country should extend additional aid, not additional penalties, to those who were injured during their service. America's disabled veterans deserve the honor of a grateful nation.

How this President can begin deploying American troops overseas, while at the same time turn his back on those who are at home living with the scars of their service is unimaginable.

To the 35,000 combat-disabled veterans who will soon receive concurrent receipt of benefits, I say thank you - I'm relieved that your government has finally recognized your sacrifice. And to the hundreds of thousands of service-disabled veterans, I say from the bottom of my heart, I have not and will not forget you."