30 Arizona Veterans Blast McSally's Proposed Veterans Cuts

Washington, D.C. – Responding to Martha McSally’ proposed cuts to vital veterans job training programs, the national veterans organization, VoteVets.org, issued a letter today signed by 30 veterans in the Second Congressional District, blasting McSally for her “lack of understanding of these important veterans programs.” 

The letter continues, “We counted on America’s bravest men and women when they served our nation and now they count on us. We simply cannot support a veteran whose top priority in Congress is cutting critical programs for our veterans now, when they need us.” 

“We must thank Martha McSally for her service to the country, but we cannot stand by while a veteran runs for office on the promise of cutting vital veterans job training programs,” said Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org. “She either has no idea what she is talking about or she genuinely believes these programs are not worth federal dollars – either way, she has proven herself unfit for office. 

Earlier this year, when asked what cuts to the federal budget she would support, McSally said, “The 47 job training programs is a good place to start.” Those programs include the following: 

The full text of the letter: 

McSally For Congress

P.O. Box 19128

Tucson, AZ 85731 

Dear Candidate McSally: 

It has come to our attention that in a recent debate, you said cutting federal funding for 47 job training programs is “a good place to start” for reducing the federal budget. Your shortsighted regurgitation of flippant talking points shows your lack of understanding of the important veterans programs you want to cut. 

Those 47 job training programs include things like: 

These programs are vital for supporting our fellow veterans. As one yourself, you should know this. 

You also claim that these programs would be better administered by local governments, a plan that would create a disparate, convoluted patchwork that may or may not meet the needs of veterans. 

We counted on America’s bravest men and women when they served our nation and now they count on us. We simply cannot support a veteran whose top priority in Congress is cutting critical programs for our veterans now, when they need us. 

We strongly encourage you to rethink your position. 

Sincerely,

 

David

Rains

Tucson

AZ

 

William

Roberts

Tucson

AZ

 

Milburn

Carlson

Tucson

AZ

 

Mark

Toth

Tucson

AZ

 

William

Tucker

Tucson

AZ

 

Bernard

Winegrad

Tucson

AZ

 

Paul

Godsey

Tucson

AZ

 

Chuck

Trible

Green Valley

AZ

 

William

Collins

Tucson

AZ

 

Michael

Mitsuda

Tucson

AZ

 

George

Tapia

Tucson

AZ

 

Harold

Cooper

Sierra Vista

AZ

 

Shannon

Butler

Tucson

AZ

 

 

David

Hosea

Green Valley

AZ

 

Dennis

Bourret

Tucson

AZ

 

 

Lee

Basnar

Sierra Vista

AZ

 

 

Gary

Rulapaugh

Sierra Vista

AZ

 

 

Marilyn

Hosea

Green Valley

AZ

 

Thomas

Moore

Tucson

AZ

 

Rick

O'Connell

Tucson

AZ

 

 

Thomas

Foster

Saint David

AZ

 

Peter

Ianchiou

Tucson

AZ

 

 

Philip

Korth

Green Valley

AZ

 

 

Gary W

Munroe Sr

Sierra Vista

AZ

 

Tobey

Thatcher

Tucson

AZ

 

Tim

Owens

Tucson

AZ

 

 

Richard

Welch

Green Valley

AZ

 

Leo

Hartke

Tucson

AZ

 

 

 

Additional background:

 

Martha McSally’s Call to Cut Job Training and the Programs at Stake

 

McSally’s Proposal to Make Job Training Cuts a Priority

 

The following is an exchange between Martha McSally and the moderator from her recent debate, as transcribed by Arizona Public Media [8/1/14]:

 

How can a freshman help create a balanced budget, and what would you cut first?

 

Creating a balanced budget: “Look at the waste and abuse that we see, waste, fraud and abuse in the federal government. It was just released last year that there were $36 billion in improper payments in Medicare alone. That kind of stuff is just unattainable. We've got more than 47 different job training programs. None of them have really any accountability as to whether they're working. This is not a government that is working for you.And honestly, even having been in the military, the way we do business, where we have redundancies and inefficiencies between the services, and if you don't spend your budget by the end of September you're not going to get it in October, so there's often spending sprees at the end of the fiscal year. That's not how we should be spending hard earned taxpayers monies. So we need to address those spending issues by going line by line through the budget, figure out what's not working cutting programs that don't belong in the federal government while we're also growing the economy so that we can actually pay our bills."

 

First federal cut: “The 47 job training programs is a good place to start. Job training programs are best when they're locally based, right? And if there's going to be any federal dollars, it should be granted to the local communities so they can actually go to those who need the retraining so they can get back to work.”   [Arizona Public Media, 8/1/14]

 

The 47 Job Training Programs McSally Referenced and Her Source

In her discussion of wanting to cut 47 federal job training programs, with a total budget of $18 billion, McSally was referring to a February 2011 GAOreport reviewing such programs which was also discussed by Mitt Romneyduring the 2012 campaign.

 

Key Programs for Veterans and Victims of Unfair Trade that McSally Would Cut

 

The following is a sampling of the programs that McSally would look to as her top targets for budget cuts. Descriptions of each program and its budget according to the 2011 report McSally referenced are included.

 

Disabled Veteran’s Outreach Program

 

Specialists provide intensive services to meet the employment needs of disabled veterans and other eligible veterans, with the maximum emphasis directed toward serving those who are economically or educationally disadvantaged, including homeless veterans, and veterans with barriers to employment.

 

$82,401,500.00 appropriated

$81,175,000 estimated amount that will be used

 

Homeless Veteran’s Reintegration Project

 

Provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans.

 

$36,330,000.00 appropriated

$33,652,121 estimated amount that will be used

Transition Assistance Program

 

Established to meet the needs of separating service members during their period of transition into civilian life by offering job-search assistance and related services.

The law creating TAP established a partnership among the Departments of Defense, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS), to give employment and training information to armed forces members within 180 days of separation or retirement.

TAP helps service members and their spouses make the initial transition from military service to the civilian workplace with less difficulty and at less overall cost to the government.

 

$8,000,000 appropriated

$7,920,000 estimated amount that will be used

 

Vocational Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans

 

Vocational rehabilitation and employment services to help with job training, employment accommodations, resume development, and job seeking skills coaching. Other services may be provided to assist Veterans in starting their own businesses or independent living services for those who are severely disabled and unable to work in traditional employment.

 

$946,086,000 appropriated

$945,414,000 estimated amount that will be used

 

 

Full List of “47 Job Training Programs”

 

Department of Labor

Community-Based Job Training Grants


Disabled Veterans’ Outreach Program


Employment Service/Wagner-Peyser Funded Activities

H-1B Job Training Grants


Homeless Veterans’ Reintegration Project


Job Corps


Local Veterans’ Employment Representative Program

National Farmworker

Jobs Program


Native American Employment and Training


Registered Apprenticeship and Other Training

Reintegration of Ex-Offenders


Senior Community Service Employment Program

Trade Adjustment Assistance
Transition Assistance Program

Veterans’ Workforce Investment Program


WIA Adult Program


WIA Youth Activities

WIA Dislocated Workers


WIA National Emergency Grants


WANTO


YouthBuild

 

Department of Education

American Indian Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Career and Technical Education – Basic Grants to States

Career and Technical Education – Indian Set-aside

Grants to States for Workplace and Community Transition Training for Incarcerated Individuals

Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers Program

Native Hawaiian Career and Technical Education

Projects with Industry

Rehabilitation Services – Vocational Rehabilitation Grants to States

State-Supported Employment Services Program

Tech-Prep Education

Tribally Controlled Postsecondary Career and Technical Institutions

 

Department of Health and Human Services

Community Services Block Grant

Refugee and Entrant Assistance – Voluntary Agency Matching Grant Program

Refugee and Entrant Assistance – Targeted Assistance Grants

Refugee and Entrant Assistance – Social Services Program

Refugee and Entrant Assistance – Targeted Assistance Discretionary Program

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

Tribal Work Grants aka Native Employment Works program

 

Department of the Interior

Conservation Activities by Youth Service Organizations (which includes For the purposes of our study, this program includes several programs administered by Interior’s National Park Service: Public Lands Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, Youth Intern Program, and Youth Partnership Program.)

 

Department of Agriculture

SNAP Employment and Training Program

 

Department of Defense

National Guard Youth Challenge Program

 

Environmental Protection Agency

Brownfield Job Training Cooperative Agreements

 

Department of Justice

Second Chance Act Prisoner Reentry Initiative

 

Department of Veterans Affairs

Vocational Rehabilitation for Disabled Veterans aka the VetSuccess program

[GAO Report:  Multiple Employment and Training Programs, 2/9/11]

 

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