House Speaker Nancy Pelosi talks about bipartisan legislative efforts on behalf of veterans during the national convention Wednesday. Photo by Craig Roberts

Pelosi draws on Ike's vision

In a wide-ranging speech Wednesday that focused on recent bipartisan Capitol Hill accomplishments for veterans, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., summoned the spirit of a past Republican president and five-star Army general to offer hope for the nation's unemployment problem.

She drew on Dwight D. Eisenhower's vision in the 1950s about how massive public-works projects, despite their high federal cost, were the building blocks of economic growth and national security.

"These were very difficult economic times," Pelosi told thousands of veterans gathered in Milwaukee for the 92nd American Legion National Convention. "And in spite of that bad economy, he made the decision to build the Interstate Highway System. But where would the money come from? You'd hear this all the time. The president said we are going forward because it is a national-security issue to have the American people connected by an Interstate Highway System. Not only that, it created an enormous amount of jobs. Just think where the country would be if it had not invested in that infrastructure at that time. It was a very courageous move by a very courageous president."

Today, as the nation grapples with continued high unemployment, particularly for veterans, Pelosi says Ike's strategy can be deployed again to rebuild America's aging infrastructure, put people back to work and strengthen the nation as a whole.

"All who serve our country in uniform know that some of the reasons for going to war can be addressed by having a stronger America here. We promised them a future worthy of their sacrifice," she said. "That future must provide economic opportunity for them and their families as they make it in America, build our infrastructure, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, clean up our air, and make us technologically No. 1. The connection between our returning vets, job opportunities, preserving our industrial base, strengthening that base, building the infrastructure of America ... is the path I believe we must work together so that everyone can make it in America."

During her 30-minute presentation, Pelosi touched on a number of recent legislative accomplishments fueled by American Legion initiatives and support, including:

• Passage and implementation of a GI Bill for the 21st Century. "With The American Legion at our side, just as (it was) for the creation of the original GI Bill, we passed the Post 9/11 GI Bill," Pelosi said. "Together, we have restored the promise of a full four-year scholarship for our Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and have made it transferable to their spouses and children. Educating our nation's veterans is a cost of war, and it's a promise we make to our troops."

• Passage of advance appropriations for VA health-care facilities to ensure timely budgets at the facility level. "Advance appropriations is now the law of the land," said Pelosi, who was applauded after acknowledging that advance appropriations was the Legion's highest legislative priority in 2009, the year it passed.

• Passage of the largest one-year increase in VA funding in history, "which means tens of thousands of new doctors and nurses, new Vet Centers and outpatient clinics, 300,000 modest-income veterans receiving VA health care for the very first time," she explained.

• House approval of legislation to end the so-called "disabled veterans tax" or restriction against concurrent receipt of VA disability compensation and DoD retirement pay, even though they are different payments for different reasons from different budgets. "We're going to keep the pressure on the Senate until it becomes the law of the land," Pelosi said.

• Increased health-care services for veterans who live far from VA facilities and quadrupling of the travel reimbursement for those who have long distances to drive for their VA care.

• Passage of over $13 billion in funding to handle an expected wave of VA claims after three new diseases were added to the list of those presumed to have been caused by exposure to Agent Orange defoliant during the Vietnam War.

Pelosi said The American Legion has worked alongside Congress and helped set priorities that led to most of the recent accomplishments. "Together, we have made more progress over the last four years for our veterans, military and families than has been made since the passage of the original GI Bill in 1944. I am especially proud that the vast majority of our accomplishments were done with overwhelming bipartisan support. There should be no division between Democrats and Republicans when it comes to supporting those who have worn our nation's uniform."




  1. Wake up and try to keep this in mind. At times the ACLU looks like they are fighting for the little guy, this is all a ruse, they want power and control the same thing that this madwomen wants. She is one of the most two-faced individuals in congress. Some of you think she is great and helpful to the Legion but your being mislead. As she is handing you a piece of candy with her right hand, she is stealing your wallet, your right to own a gun and every other piece of freedom she and the rest of her democrat buddies can get their hands on with her LEFT hand. You trust this women at your own risk. Look to her buddy BO, do you feel safer with that guys finger on the trigger. You must, because even if we were attacked, I guarantee you he would never push it. If you want to be coddled and pandered to, taken care of from cradle to grave, give away everything that you hold dear and keep voting democrat. maybe you will seep well at night, for me she and the rest of them are a nightmare.
  2. Cincalpha, How old are you? Evidently you believe in socialism, We all Know that the Majority of the Bums in office at this time are Socialistic minded. This women and her colleagues want YOUR MONEY do you understand that? Do you work? If so just send me your money so I won't have too! No why not you think Pelosi and Obama are so great. Seriously, would you feel good if your Father was one of the Cops that Obamas Friend Ayers had Killed? Perhaps you should dig into some of these leaders Backgrounds, Why? i.e Pelosi had a bill passed that the Somoans working for Dole Corporation were exempt from recieving the minimum wage paid to American workers, Do you kknow Why? Her husband owns a tremendous amount of stock in that Corporation, So if the American Somoans recied the pay increase that mainland Americans recieve His ( Pelosis') stock dividends would Drop, This is the True Pelosi. Nick
  3. I'm just 60 years old. I consider myself an Independent. I have supported Republicans, Democrats and Independents -- whoever I thought would do the best job. It seems to me that all of the Members of Congress were elected by the majority of their constituents, unless appointed by the Governor pending sa pecial election. I have no problem paying my taxes, in fact, I wish everyone would do the same. You sure ask alot of personal questions. I am retired (twice), but still work a 40 hour week. Nick, I really wish you didn't have to work, but I am doing good to meet my financial responsibilities. Last time I looked, each Member has only one vote. It takes either unanimous consent or a majority vote to pass most bill in both chambers. Election Day is just two months away.
  4. I cannot believe she was invited to the convention, let alone allowed to speak. She is about as anti-military as they come. Makes me wonder what direction the legion is heading in.
  5. Why would you not want to hear from the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives? The American Legion invites key Federal government officials to address its delegates. Did you enjoy the Secretary of Defense? Did you enjoy the Secretary of Veterans Affairs? Did you enjoy the other Members of Congress? Go back over the Preamble to The American Legion and tell me where we advocate censorship. Informed voters are the best voters. It is as good to hear from those you may disagree with than those who you support. Like it or not, Speaker Pelosi is the first Speaker to hold frequent roundtable meetings with veterans' and military service organizations all in one room to listen to our priorities. I think the Speaker ran down the long list of achievements under her watch. Even on issues when we have disagreed, she has still listened. You might also notice the Speaker rarely votes.
  6. Very simply, she is one of the most airheaded individuals to be voted into congress. Her statement, "we have to vote this bill in to see whats in it" should give you a headache. She has been a stain on this country for way to many years. Have you seen how much she has run up just to fly back and forth to Washington from California. This women deserves no respect or time from the American Legion and I am ashamed that she was invited. I also had a friend that attended this speech and I was told that no one would be allowed inside to listen to her if they had any anti Pelosi buttons, tshirts or anything else that might be offensive to this knucklehead. Wow, and this is what I thought the American Legion stood for. I have been a member for years, but this is making me and a lot of fellow members start to wonder why we support this organization. You can continue to vote in these people that fight day in and day out to destroy this country, I will not be a part of it.
  7. This person along with the current Administration has no intention of preserving and or honoring the commitment made by the Nation to do what is right for the warfighters who have kept the Nation safe until 9/11. Had those who were in responsible positions when Bin Laden was offered up to Clinton, none of what we are experiencing now would be occurring. Need to take Madame Pelosi, Madame Clinton, and Muslim Obama and kick them out of office as soon as possible. California voters and those who live in San Francisco ought to be ashamed for what they have sent to do bipartisan politics. Everytime she opens her mouth I'm reminded of that story about not fooling horse flies. Send her packing now.
  8. How long have you been in this coma? Pelosi has never done anything for the good of our country on her own free will. She is a socalist who along with your buddy Obama want to bring this country down. Wake up and smell the coffee.
  9. Long enough to see what she has done for veterans and their families. I remember efforts to charge an enrollment fee for certain veterans to use the VA health care system. She led the fight to defeat that initiative. I remember efforts to increase co-payments for health care and prescriptions. She led the fight to defeat that initiative. I remember efforts to underfund the VA medical care. She joined forces with then VA Committee Chairman Chris Smith to restore funding. He got fired by his own party's leadership. I am wake and loving life going to VA for health care. Revisionist historians may want want to forget the past, but facts don't lie and are still there. Look at the VA medical care budget since she became Speaker and compare with any other Speaker of either party. Have we always agreed on every issue -- no, but what we do agree on is unprecedented.
  10. She is a BIG spender of my hard earned money. Taking one of the largest planes non stop to her home from DC weekly plus many other people with her. We have to replace her or we will go broke faster then we are now.
  11. Legion members should remember that this woman is an open borders advocate and who supports amnesty for the nation's 12-20 million illegal aliens. She is part of an administration that is permitting 7 million illegals to keep their jobs in the construction, manufacturing,transportation and service industries at the same time 30 million of our less-educated citizens and legal residents cannot find full-time work. It's going to be tough enough for returning veterans to find jobs that pay a decent wage without asking them to compete with foreigners in a shrinking job market, many of them here illegally. Dave Gorak Executive director Midwest Coalition to Reduce Immigration La Valle, Wis.
  12. The enforcement of existing immigration laws is the responsibility of the Executive Branch, not the Legislative Branch. In fact, the number of illegal immigrants have actually decreased. Customs and Border Patrol continues to do an excellent job detecting, arresting, and deporting. What about the millions of Americans who knowing hire illegals to work? What degree of responsibility do they have in immigration control? If they don't get hired or paid, they simply don't come. You need to adjust your field of fire. I know Speaker Pelosi is hiring wounded warriors and I believe all of the rest of her staff are US citizens.
  13. Thank you for your support of service members, veterans and their families. This is an unbelieveable list of accomplishments. Do not remember any previous Speaker taking such an active role in veterans' issues. Thanks for keeping an "Open Door Policy" for The American Legion.
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