The Corner

GOP: 900 Days Since Bruce Braley’s Last Veterans Affairs Hearing

Representative Bruce Braley (D., Iowa) hasn’t attended a Veterans Affairs Committee hearing in over 900 days, and Iowa Republicans launched a new website to make sure voters know it.

“Why would anyone trust Congressman Braley to fight for our veterans, when it’s been years since he last attended a Veterans’ Affairs hearing?” state party spokesman Jahan Wilcox said in a statement on the launch of AbsentBraley.com.

The website reminds voters that he attended campaign fundraisers on the same day that he missed a hearing on disability backlogs.

“At 10:19 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2012, the committee held a hearing on a backlog of disability claims and reports of problems with mental health care and stewardship of VA funding, congressional records show,” the Des Moines Register reported. “On the same day, Braley had three fundraisers on his schedule for his re-election to the U.S. House, records from the nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation show. He attended all three, campaign aides confirmed to The Des Moines Register. The one from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. was a $2,500 breakfast at Johnny’s Half Shell, which serves seafood fresh from the Chesapeake Bay and has a view of the Capitol dome. At noon, Braley went to the D.C. law firm of DLA Piper for a $1,000 per person fundraiser. The third event, from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. was a $2,500 per person reception on K Street, the epicenter of the lobbying industry.”

Republican Senate nominee Joni Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa National Guard, has been hammering Braley for his VA hearing absences and votes on funding for military operations in Iraq.

“Twice, he voted to defund our troops as they were serving in combat, leaving our service-members vulnerable if that had passed,” Ernst said in a recent stump speech. “He will try and deny it now, but what he was doing was putting politics ahead of our men and women in uniform, and that is absolutely not acceptable.”

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