Editor, Since Georgia’s own Sen. Johnny Isakson voted for discriminating against pre-9/11 veterans and later against ending this discrimination, I’ve penned and sent the following to then-Senate Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Bernie Sanders, I-VT, who introduced the Caregivers Expansion and Improvement Act of 2013:
You are held in very high esteem by our nation’s veterans for your support of their needs, especially the most severely wounded.
It is unfortunate that your attempt to end the discrimination of the Care Givers Act of 2010 was rejected by your peers. They should hang their collective heads in shame.
A severely wounded warrior is a severely wounded warrior regardless of when that veteran met their fate.
When your legislation to correct the discriminatory practices of providing caregiver assistance only to post-9/11 veterans was rebuffed, Congress broke specific discrimination laws that body earlier enacted, to wit:
• Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 –
“An Act…to prevent discrimination in federally assisted programs…” (VA health care definitely a federal program).
• Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
SEC. 12101. [Section 2]
(a) Findings — The Congress finds that-…
(3) discrimination against individuals with disabilities persists in such critical areas as employment, housing, public accommodations, education, transportation, communication, recreation, institutionalization, health services, voting, and access to public services;
(b) Purpose — It is the purpose of this chapter (1) to provide a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities.
With the rules of the Senate now changed to allow amendments to legislation, severely disabled pre-9/11 veterans requiring caregiver assistance pray you will use every opportunity available to attach a caregivers amendment to proposed legislation until this discriminatory practice is eliminated.
— Bruce A. McCartney