Give Kansas Republican Rep. Tim Huelskamp credit: He cuts through the dross.
During a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing Wednesday, Huelskamp had a straightforward question for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shineski:
“Do you think Senator Reid doesn’t like our veterans, or the VA in particular?” Huelskamp asked, according to The Hill.
It’s a valid question these days, just like it’s a valid question to ask if Harry Reid likes helping children with cancer (“Why would we do that”), if he likes Americans visiting the World War II memorial, or if he likes anything besides the Obamacare monstrosity of American law he and Nancy Pelosi foisted on the country during the disastrous two years they held both houses of Congress.
But it’s especially valid because House Republicans have approved a bill to fund the Veterans Affairs Department only to have it shot down by an obstructionist Democrat Senate and Majority Leader Reid.
The question on Wednesday was spurred by Shineski’s testimony that the government shutdown is putting 4 million veterans at risk of losing their benefits, and others depend on the government for pension payments.
Minnesota Democrat Tim Walz thought Huelskamp was out of line.
“That’s beneath this Congress and certainly beneath this committee to question a commitment to veterans,” Walz said.
Shineski still answered, though. As an Obama appointee, he knows what side of the bread his Cabinet post is on.
The current stalemate isn’t Reid’s fault, he maintained.
“As to why we are unable, Congress is unable, to do its business, I will leave that to the members to discuss,” Shinseki said.
“You mention Congress, but it is an issue in the U.S. Senate,” Huelskamp answered.
That’s rhe U.S. Senate where House-passed government funding bills – including the bill that would keep 4 million veterans from being at risk for losing their benefits – are going to die. The U.S. Senate where Harry Reid, whose Senate bio contains no mention of military service, is in charge.
Walz and Shinski can spin it how they like, Huelskamp’s question remains:
“Do you think Harry Reid doesn’t like veterans?”