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Saturday, October 5, 2013 - 7:41pm
El Paso, TX (KDBC) — Congressman Beto O'Rourke is reaching out to local veterans regarding his efforts to secure their benefits. He released a YouTube video Saturday in which he addresses a piecemeal proposal by Republicans in the House that would fund some government programs, including Veterans Affairs, without funding the entire government.
O'Rourke said it would fund basic services, but would cut $6 billion of VA programs. It would not fund cemeteries, including Fort Bliss National Cemetery, would not fund medical and prosthetic research, and would not fund the systems that resolve VA claims backlog.
In the video, O'Rourke said veterans in El Paso are waiting 450 days to hear back about a VA claim.
"I'm trying to do my best to make sure that you have the resources that you need to get the care that you deserve, and that you earned, by serving our country and putting your life on the line, and sacrificing your comfort, your safety and your security for the rest of ours," said O'Rourke in the video.
He co-sponsored a bill to provide advanced funding for the VA and is working to get that bill to the floor.
He also helped introduce the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, which passed the House Saturday. It will provide back-pay for federal workers furloughed during the government shutdown. Federal workers will not get their paychecks until after the shutdown is over.