In Washington, who really supports the troops? Here are the facts.
Sure, politicians say they support the troops. But whose votes back up their rhetoric, and who's just wearing an American flag lapel pin?
Now there's an easy way to know for sure. The nonprofit, nonpartisan Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America's Action Fund has tallied up every Congressional vote cast on troops' and veterans' issues for the last five years. We've crunched the numbers, and given every legislator a letter grade - the IAVA Congressional Rating. We have created a groundbreaking new web interface that will allow you (and every American) to find out for themselves where politicians stand on the issues.
The results are disappointing, to say the least. Fewer than one-quarter of House and Senate members scored an A. Eighty-six members got a D or an F.
Did your legislator get an A... or an F? Click here to find out.
What does a rating mean? It's simple. You get a point every time you vote with IAVA (in favor of body armor, vet hospital funding, or better treatment for Traumatic Brain Injury, for instance). If you vote with IAVA 95% of the time, for instance, you get an A. If you vote with IAVA 50% of the time, you fail. We believe that any grade lower than an A is unacceptable.
There is no excuse for a low score. Politicians' choices in Washington have a real human cost: Troops on the streets of Iraq with inadequate body armor. Veterans waitlisted for treatment at the VA. Military widows facing cuts in their survivor benefits.
This should be a wake-up call for every American who thinks Congress is doing all it can for our troops. I urge you to check your legislators' scores, and then demand accountability from anyone receiving less than an "A" grade.