Vets group proves GOP does not support troops

Paul Rieckhoff, Executive Director and founder of Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), the country's first and largest Iraq Veterans group, announced on Friday that IAVA has made available a web site giving the results of their analysis of who in Congress truly backs up their words on supporting the troops.

"Sure, politicians say they support the troops. But whose votes back up their rhetoric, and who's just wearing an American flag lapel pin?" asked Rieckhoff in a Huffington Post column last week. "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."

It is a wonderful idea to be sure and IAVA is certainly the organization to do it. So I thought I would go out over the weekend and do some crunching of my own to document what I think we already know about who in Congress really sticks up for the military and who are merely support-the-troops hypocrites.

I cover the Senate so I decided to do my digging there and what I found will not surprise anyone. IAVA analyzed 155 Senate votes that have taken place since September 11, 2001 and, to calculate their ratings, looked at "…each piece of legislation that affected troops, veterans or military families." IAVA then matched each Senator's votes with the organization's own view of what constitutes true support for active troops, Veterans and their families.

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