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VoteVets Cheers Key Points in the State of the Union - Express Concern Over Republican Obstructionism

 ·, Press Release

Washington, DC - Following the President's State of the Union address, Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of, released the following statement on behalf of's 220,000 supporters (including over 50,000 veterans and military families):

"For veterans, there was a lot to like about what President Obama laid out tonight.  But, as evidenced by today's party-line vote in the Senate Armed Services Committee on Chuck Hagel's nomination, Republicans will largely decide whether to stymie the will of the American people, or come to the table to move this country forward.

What did the American people vote for, in November? 

They voted for the US to continue to draw down our forces in Afghanistan, which the President is continuing to do.  While we know that any troops there will always be combat troops, no matter what anyone says or calls them, it is clear that we are on the path towards ending our nation-building efforts there, and letting Afghans determine their own future.

Americans voted for immigration reform, allowing a path for citizenship, which is crucial for so many Americans who serve our nation in uniform, with family who are undocumented immigrants.  Additionally, it would likely open military service to more young undocumented immigrants, as a path to citizenship.

Americans voted for a common sense approach towards gun violence, which has taken the lives of too many veterans, and service members from Little Rock to Ft. Hood.  As veterans, we know all too well that assault weapons are weapons of war, and should be kept in war, not on our streets and in the hands of maniacs.  As troops, we all had to go through background checks to enter the military, and handle weapons. 

Americans voted for real cuts in wasteful spending.  In our Department of Defense, one of the largest chunks of the budget is maintaining a bloated nuclear arsenal that simply no longer has to be so large, in a post-Cold-War world.  President Obama's commitment to a reasonable nuclear arsenal means more money to pay down the debt, to improve our economy so unemployed veterans can get jobs, and to purchase equipment our troops in the field can really use.

Now, the question is whether Republicans will be grown-ups, and come to the table in good faith to heed the will of the people, or will they continue on their political quest to destroy this President, at the detriment of the country?  Veterans hope that Republicans return to an era of responsible legislating, however, we've thus far been disheartened with how Republicans in the new Congress have behaved."

Founded in 2006,  and backed by over 220,000 members, the mission of is to use public issue campaigns and direct outreach to lawmakers to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home. also recognizes veterans as a vital part of the fabric of our country and will work to protect veterans' interests in their day-to-day lives. is committed to the destruction of terror networks around the world - with force when necessary - to protect America.  While non-partisan, the group is the largest progressive organization of veterans in America.