Congressman Zinke turns his back on fellow Montana Veterans
HELENA -- While using his veteran status to promote his brand and himself, Congressman Ryan Zinke has a record of terrible votes on Veteran issues.
“Congressman Zinke has turned his back on the 100,000-plus proud veterans we have in Montana in order to raise his own profile,” said Nancy Keenan, executive director of the Montana Democratic Party. “Montana’s veterans deserve a leader who will support them after they sacrificed so much to support us and our families.”
The former Navy SEAL spends so much time pedaling his own brand that he’s missed critical veteran votes on veteran contractors and small business support to appear on Fox News. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
Congressman Zinke has:
- Voted against training opportunities for veterans in manufacturing jobs. In 2015, he voted for blocking consideration of a bill that would create a state-based pilot program to provide grants to manufacturers who provide training, apprenticeships and certification classes to veterans. [H.RES.78, Vote #59, 2/04/15; CRS Summary, 1/14/15; Dem Leader 2/4/15]
- Voted against $15 million for veteran health services. In 2015 Congressman Zinke voted against an amendment that would provide an additional $15 million for veterans health administration medical services account. [CQ, 4/30/15; H.R. 2029, Vote 192,4/30/15]
- Voted against predatory lending protections for soldiers. Congressman Zinke voted to block a measure that would protect veterans and service members by preserving their right to file a lawsuit if their mortgages violated anti-predatory lending laws. The measure would have also prevented mortgage brokers from receiving bonuses for steering service members into bad mortgages. [CQ, 11/18/15; HR 1210, Vote 635, 11/18/15: Dem Leader: 11/18/15]
- Sponsored a “reckless” bill to draft women into combat and voted against it. This spring he introduced a bill to draft womeninto military service, but then voted against it. The Montana Defense Alliance said that his bill was “reckless.” [Great Falls Tribune4/28/16; Military Times, 4/28/16; AP, 7/7/16; HR 5485, Vote 379, 7/7/16]
In addition to this, Congressman Zinke has made some pretty awful remarks about his fellow veterans while accepting almost $2,000 in veteran benefits each month:
- He compared veterans accepting benefits to “economic slavery.” In 2014, he worried aloud about veterans accepting benefits as “economic slavery” to the Billings Gazette (3/29/16).
- He told Iraq & Afghanistan veterans “don’t be a victim.” In 2014 he told Iraq and Afghanistan veterans: “your problems aren’t unique, we’ve all suffered through this. You know, don’t be a victim.” [SOFREP Internat Radio Program, 24:45, 1/27/14]
- He complained about veterans complaining. In 2014, speaking about veterans, Zinke said, “a lot of them complain about everything.” [YouTube, (24:55), 1/30/14].
“The truth is, the list of Congressman Zinke’s bad votes and terrible record of commentary about his fellow veterans could go on,”Keenan said. “Our veterans deserve our utmost respect for their service and Congressman Zinke continues to insult our brave men and women.”