Tuesday, 03 April 2007 01:00
Mahoney - VeteransWritten by WGCU Newsroom
Democratic Congressman Tim Mahoney is spending time in his district talking to Veterans. He says the Bush administration has underserved this deserving group of citizens.
Mahoney says 18 percent of his constituents in District 16 – which spans the state from Punta Gorda to Stuart are Veterans. He says as a member of the democratically controlled congress he’s voted twice now for increases in funding for veterans. He says veteran’s needs were pushed aside when the GOP held the majority.
“What people have to understand is that the federal government has been running major deficits – meaning we’re broke. That we’ve been spending a huge amount of money in places like Iraq, and as a result even though there’s been a lot of talk about veterans and supporting veterans the reality over the last six years is that the money hasn’t been there.”
Mahoney has launched a Veterans Advisory Council – charged with educating him about the issues most important to veterans. He will meet with the council quarterly. Mahoney was elected to congress in November following the resignation of Republican Mark Foley who had sent improper emails to underage congressional pages.
Congressman Tim Mahoney held the first meeting of his new Veterans Advisory Council Monday. The Democrat from the sprawling 16th Congressional District - which spans the state from Stuart to Punta Gorda - says 18 percent of his constituents are veterans, and that their needs and concerns are his top priorities.
“When I got to DC I realized that there’s lots of different things we could work on. But what we needed to do is make sure my priorities were right so that the needs of veterans in my community were being represented in Washington DC. And the best way to do that is to reach out to Veterans themselves and get their input directly as to what the needs are.”
Mahoney’s stops included the Veterans Clinic in Port Charlotte and the Veterans Nursing home in North Port.
Veterans needs have been spotlighted recently because reports about poor conditions at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D-C where many soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan have been receiving care. Mahoney was elected to the District 16 seat in November – following the resignation of incumbent Republican Mark Foley who was implicated in sending salacious emails to underage Congressional Pages.