Strickland gets OK for veterans panel

WASHINGTON -- U.S. Rep. Ted Strickland received a special waiver from the House Democratic Caucus to join the House Committee on Veterans Affairs.
Strickland, of Lisbon, D-6th, needed a waiver from the caucus because he serves on the Committee on Energy and Commerce, one of the House's four exclusive committees. Democratic House members appointed to Energy and Commerce after 1993 need permission from their caucus to join a second committee.
"I want to be an advocate for veterans, and this committee gives me a platform to challenge the wrong-headed decisions that are hurting veterans in my congressional district and across America," Strickland said. "The [Veterans Affairs] health care system is facing a crisis, and the administration's proposed solutions are simply going from bad to worse."
Strickland has introduced legislation to reduce the cost of prescription drugs for veterans and to increase the benefits for spouses of deceased wartime veterans.
He also recently asked the comptroller general of the United States to rule that the Bush administration violated federal law by ordered VA health network directors to stop marketing available services to veterans without seeking congressional input.
"While I do not always see eye-to-eye with administration proposals ... I look forward to working with the administration and members of the Veterans Affairs Committee to provide the service and care America's heroes so richly deserve," Strickland said.

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